Re: Requirements

Subject: Re: Requirements
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 09:46:09 -0800 (PST)

--- David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- com> wrote:
> I disagree with this reasoning on two counts:
> * It is based on the view that tech writers are interchangeable
> commodities. It's been our experience that writing talent, combined
> with the right personality, is much rarer than tech writers with
> product skills, and not interchangeable. A lot of people know
> FrameMaker, but fewer are good writers.

David, *I* agree with you, but you have to admit that a lot of people,
including some on this list, DO view tech writers as interchangeable.
And there ARE situations, especially short-term wordsmithing contracts,
where tool knowledge can be more important because someone DOES NOT
have time to train the skill. Every employment situation is not long
term. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to hire as if they were.

> * If the hiring company has a laundry list of product skills they
> want, it unknowingly eliminates about 85% to 95% of available
> writers. This can delay finding "the right person" far longer than
> hiring someone wit> good personal qualities and experience and
> training them in the needed product skills.

Don't always need to exactly right person, believe it or not. I think
one needs to evaluate the hiring environment. Yes, you can eliminate a
better fit in the long term, but if you are only looking/working in the
short term, you don't care about that right fit.

Regrettably, one of the things that happens when you have managers
reading such reports as the one you cite is that they generalize from
specific data. I know that long-term hirers DO hire based on tool
knowledge or ask irrelevant questions, in part because they don't know
what to look for.

Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page -

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