There are times in our, InfoDevs’, lives, when we try to find our own place under the sun, I mean, within the team. We start questioning ourselves: “What should I do first? Is there anything else I can do? How can I help my teammates?” And our answer to the last question sets the role we play among the Developers, BAs, QAs, Designers, and PM. Are we merely doc writers defined by our proficiency in languages? Or are we an important part of the team that brings value and facilitates the work of each team member?
On the corporate level, the questions remain the same. The article by Sarah Maddox and the feedback for it by Larry Kuntz reminded me of the road towards self-identification that my fellow InfoDevs and I have taken.
How the story goes
We began as a Documentation Stream within the Software Engineering office, and over a year, after long debates of how we could be most productive—as a separate entity or as part of other offices like Marketing or UX, we formed the Information Development office, a full-fledged department in the company structure. That decision led to the common understanding that we could provide our services not only to the company’s external customers but also to the company itself. We help other offices as we handle corporate documentation of all types and formats. We deal with reviews and translations, prepare case studies and proposals, decipher pencil-written notes and turn them into cool infographics. That makes us recognizable among colleagues and shapes the image of an Information Developer as a competent and versatile professional. Also, being a separate functional unit allowed us to create the Information Development center of expertise where we share our knowledge and help newcomers grow.
Here we stand
This is how it works for our company now, and this story is in the making. Of course, the future might hold new challenges for us and new discoveries as our industry progresses, and you can never be sure where you might end up.
I’m sharing this article with you, so that if you faced a similar problem or still try to find a place within your company, this might set a direction for you.