About

Technical Writing, Software Documentation

In the early 1980s, software documentation development was in its infancy in the USA. There were no college or university degree programs in technical communication. Many companies that developed software did not employ technical writers. Software documentation was as often written by a programmer or a secretary as by a technical writer – and it showed in the quality of the documentation. This is the environment in which our founder, Barry Saiff, began his career as a software technical writer. Over the ensuing 25+ years, Barry learned how to succeed as a technical writer in a wide variety of environments. He learned how to change a corporate culture to support the development of excellent documentation. He started several technical writing teams from scratch and led them to repeated successes.

Over the last 30 years, software documentation development has matured dramatically. One of the major facets of change is globalization. Software today may be developed by collaborating teams on 2 continents, and sold to customers in 50 countries, with documentation translated into 30 languages. While the off-shoring and outsourcing of software development has a head start, technical writing is also being done off-shore and by outsourcing companies at an increasing rate. In many of the countries where software documentation is developed today, technical writing is in its infancy, just as it was in the USA in the early 1980s. This can lead to significant problems. There is a great deal more involved in developing excellent software documentation than language skills. Saiff Solutions was created to bridge this gap, by bringing deep expertise in software documentation development gained in the USA to the low-cost environment of the Philippines. Our commitment to our customers is matched by our commitment to our employees. We train and support our staff to develop rewarding careers as technical writers. We augment our junior technical writers with the expertise of senior technical editors, who ensure that our product delights our customers, and their customers.

Testimonials

“Barry [Saiff] has extensive experience both as a manager of technical writers and as a writer. As a manager, he is fair, encourages innovation, and is open to divergent points of view. As a writer, he can grasp very complex concepts and explain those concepts to end user through administrator audiences. Additionally, he has expert knowledge of all components of the documentation process, including corporate style guides, editing, writing, working with localization, and production. Barry is very much a people person and wherever he goes, he cultivates a large network of friendly yet professional relationships. He’s worked successfully with both on-site subject matter experts as well as those across the world. During my time working with Barry, he’s run a number of successful efforts to improve the usability of documentation. In one such case, he recruited a cross-functional team to overhaul the documentation based on the recommendations of this user-facing group of subject matter experts.”

Steve Anderson
Principal Technical Writer, Symantec
December 16, 2010

Read more testimonials here.