Re: What is a "techie" technical writer?

Subject: Re: What is a "techie" technical writer?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 11:31:00 -0800

"Thompson, Carole" wrote:
> Since several messages from Thursday's list (I get the digest) mentioned
> "techie" and "non-techie" technical writers, I was wondering how other
> people on the list would define the differences between the two types.

Do we really want to go there? :-)

If I remember properly, the distinction emerged from a discussion of
the level of knowledge needed for tech writing. Some people
suggested that all was needed was a power user's knowledge. Others,
including me, suggested that, the more technical knowledge you have,
the better you could do your job.

>From this discussion, a "non-techie" would be a writer who operated
strictly from an end-user's point of view, while a "techie" would be
a writer who could make forays into the code for greater
understanding of the product and could at least follow what the
geeks had to say.

I suspect, though, that the terms are two poles in a continuum, with
a lot of writers clustered at the non-techie end, and the rest of us
scattered all down the line, with programmers-turned-writers at the
techie end.

Bruce Byfield, Progeny Linux Systems
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

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