Re: Should we hire this guy?

Subject: Re: Should we hire this guy?
From: "Sella Rush" <sellar -at- mail -dot- apptechsys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:41:06 -0700

Re Dave Neufeld's situation:

I'd also be concerned about whether the person were going to stick around,
whether they were willing to learn how to write. But aside from that little
issue, I think Tracy B. hit your particular nail on the head:

Hire good editor. The editor can support all or many of your existing
writers, which will certainly upgrade their productivity in addition to
producing a higher quality product. (In fact, hiring an editor now might
solve your immediate problem of needing a new writer.) In the long run,
you'll be free to hire more technical people without worrying about their
writing skills. At the same time, new techies can spend their time learning
subject matter rather than whether to use insure or ensure, which they may
care little about anyway.

Writer SMEs and grammar/info management editors are a perfectly acceptable
publications department model. There are a few pitfalls, such as making
sure the editor doesn't degenerate into the office secretary--doing
everyone's word processing and layout. The editor needs managerial support,
authority to make significant changes and instruct the writers about adding
new info or restructuring it. The writers have authority when it comes to
context and meaning--they are responsible for making sure that edits don't
change the meaning, etc. The editor is the one that understands how to
organize and manage information, as well as grammatical issues.

Note: When looking at writing, I'm slightly less concerned about
grammatical issues than I am about organizational issues. Does the writer
understand how to present information in a way that makes it understandable
and usable? This is at least as important as good grammar, and a concept I
find more difficult to teach.

Sella Rush
mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems (ATS)
Silverdale, Washington
Developers of the CCM Database

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