Re: Changed topic to skills we need - Warning! I am wordy.

Subject: Re: Changed topic to skills we need - Warning! I am wordy.
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 07:25:47 PST

Sharon Burton-Hardin said:

If all you can offer me is that you can write really well, I can buy that for about $15 an hour from a lot of people..... If you can offer other technical stuff, I can and will pay much higher for that.

Tony Markatos responds:

To the degree that I have done the following, the 'writing' part of Technical Writing is fairily easy:

- Analysis - ideally a rigorous end-user task analysis.
- Estimating - an more importantly, renegotiating my estimates as more information becomes available.
- Standardized of terminology.

The problem with Technical Writers who also devote a significant amount of their energies in learning DTP, pre-production, etc, is that they inevitably decrease there efforts in doing the above mentioned stuff. Usability suffers greatly!

Many Technical Writers actually appear to be trying to hide from having to tough analysis/estimating work by "jumping into an ocean of technology". I see this same phenomena occurring among the product developers - the "race" is on to see how can have the thickest C++ manual on their bookshelf - or the most "tool" books. Meanwhile, there isn't a decent flow-chart in-house and no serious attempt is made at estimating (Project Management).


Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)




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