Re: Managing Engineers (long)

Subject: Re: Managing Engineers (long)
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 11:14:02 -0800 (PST)

--- mpriestl -at- ca -dot- ibm -dot- com wrote:

> I find your stance equally disturbing and humorous. You seem to think there
> is only one kind of technical and one kind of ignorance. Knowledge is not a
> boolean. Given how much time I have for education, I'd rather spend it on
> subjects that benefit my users than subjects that make you happy.

As a ***TECHNICAL*** communicator, ignoring the technical details makes a
writer less capable. It diminishes a writer's capability to effectively

communicate with an audience.

In my opinion there are three aspects to a decent writer (in order of

1) Command of the subject matter.
2) Command of the reader's needs.
3) Command of language.

If a writer is missing any of these parts, he/she is lacking and not capable of
communicating effectively.

Basically, Michael, your assertion is that #1 isn't important. You can slip by
with #2 and #3.

Yes. You can. Many tech writers have merely a command of language and a weak
command of the reader's needs. However, I assert that these are less qualified
writers that those that can handle all three.

There is no excuse for ignorance.

I also assert that the preponderance of these types of writers are why so many
engineers roll their eyes and sigh when they have to work with a technical
writer. They are sick and tired of people who defend their ignorance as if it
were a recognized skill.

Andrew Plato

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