FW: Worthless Tech Comm Degrees

Subject: FW: Worthless Tech Comm Degrees
From: Chuck Martin <CMartin -at- serena -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 13:22:43 -0800

I received the following in private reply to a piece of a post I wrote
yesterday. Naturally, I disagree. I also take offense; the response is of a
tone I have encountered from any number of developers and managers, that the
discipline of technical communication is nothing more than that of a
glorified secretary. This response, which I have encountered at many turns,
I think belittles all the training and experience I have garnered over the
years (in many more areas than just writing)--and continue to obtain (for
example, I'm taking a UNIX evening class this semester).

So I put it to the list (leaving the identity of the response's author
anonymous): are my feelings an overreaction? Do I see this field differently
that do others?

I should add that my response to those who display such attitudes is that I
do far more than "just" write. I have designed information systems for both
print and online, I've edited, been a product photographer, found and
reported bugs, designed and re-designed interfaces, been a user and
usability advocate, and more. My mentor at my first job after college
graduation (thanks Terry) once said that I have to toot my own horn, because
no one else will do it for me. I do a helluva lot more than write how-to
books and I'm damn proud of the talents and skills I've developed.

>
> Chuck Martinwrote
>
> > TC is an engineering discipline.
>
> Technical communication is not a discipline, it is a job title.
>
> It's just the title given to people who write how-to books
> for corporations.
>

--
Chuck Martin
Sr. Technical Writer, SERENA Software

"People who use business software might despise it, but they are getting
paid to tolerate it....Most people who are paid to use a tool feel
constrained not to complain about that tool, but it doesn't stop them from
feeling frustrated and unhappy about it."
- "The Inmates are Running the Asylum"
Alan Cooper


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