RE: Just do it

Subject: RE: Just do it
From: "Kevin Shea" <kfshea -at- sci-techconsult -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 11:43:19 -0500

Connie Giordano wrote:
Once again, several have missed Andrew's point.


On the contrary, I fully took his point about surveys. I didn't address that
aspect of the thread.

My only 'issue' was with the assertion that one can come into a workspace,
whether it be a software application or shop floor, and learn a task to such
a degree that, just by being 'serious,' one can get 'into your
customer/user's head' by doing 'their job for a while.'

The supposition that because he spent 'a while' at a job, he knew '*exactly*
what the users would need to know' and that he 'understood all the little
idiosyncrasies of doing it, particularly what to warn the user and how to
communicate complex steps' is, to my mind, demeaning to those who actually
perform the work (as opposed to writing about how to do it).

My example of the digitally challenged tech writer was meant to put the shoe
on the other foot. How would a tech writer appreciate someone thinking they
can spend a few days banging away at RoboHelp and learn the job to the
extent that there is nothing left to know, no idiosyncrasies left
undiscovered, no nuances unturned. There was no talk of interacting with
expert users in his response. I assume that since he didn't want a tech
writer hanging around his office while he was trying to work, Andrew invoked
the Golden Rule while all this learning of Oracle took place and left the
Oracle experts in peace.


kfshea -at- sci-techconsult -dot- com

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