Re: Do'ers and Doubters (was observation about engineers)

Subject: Re: Do'ers and Doubters (was observation about engineers)
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:31:34 -0700 (PDT)

"Iggy" wrote...

> I think it's like the doctor scenario... years ago
> people went into the profession for the profession -
> it was what they wanted to do. Now it seems (and I
> base my judgment on what I hear from close friends and
> family who are doctors of medicine) many people are
> becoming doctors for the sake of a good paycheck. The
> majority of new doctors lack some of the basic skills
> necessary to perform their daily tasks (putting in
> IVs, properly checking blood pressure, etc.), relying
> on their nurses and aids to do these things for them.

Every profession has its share of, what I would call, slugs. People who
are in the profession for all the wrong reasons. Tech writing has its fair
share of writers who are not (and don't care to be) engaged in the
material they are writing.

I think a lot of them come into the profession as a mechanism to earn a
living while they wait to be "discovered" for their creative writing. I
don't fault these people for this, but it definately shows in the quality
of their work. Anytime a person does not have their full attention drawn
to their work they are going to be defecient in some manner.

Furthermore, I think a fair number of writers fall into this profession
because they are outright mislead. Many of the schools and organizations
surrouding tech writing tout tech writing as a career where you can make
money off your love of writing. The romance of calling oneself a writer is
much more attractive than the unglamours job of documenting procedure
calls in a NetBIOS interface.

The outcome of this are writers, who can't write. They merely process or
reformat other people's work. So, we have people who are sending out
resumes saying "I am a writer" when in fact the overwhelming majority of
their experience is merely formatting and editing. They are unable to
actually generate content because - they don't understand the material.

Engineers, doctors, lawyers, tree surgeons - all professions suffer from
these issues. I am sure there is a doctor's forum out there with some
lunatic doctor named Alex Glato who bitches about how none of his fellow
doctors understand how livers work.

Mmmmmm, liver.

Andrew Plato

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