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.

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“After Symantec acquired Brightmail in 2004, Barry played key roles in integrating the information development team and their content into Symantec’s then-developing Unified Content Strategy. Barry [Saiff]’s experience, product and content knowledge, and leadership qualities helped the Brightmail team to become a trailblazer within the company. The processes, tools, and practices they helped to develop for content management are used throughout the company, thanks in large part to Barry’s participation in numerous cross-departmental teams. Barry is a natural leader who can effectively contribute to any endeavor. He has a passion for serving customers that drives him to create and evangelize process improvements and to collaborate effectively with diverse groups and individuals. I would be glad to work with Barry again.”

Alexia Idoura (nee Prendergast)
Senior Manager, Symantec
February 16, 2011

Read more testimonials here.