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

Subject: Re: Do'ers and Doubters (was observation about engineers)
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 07:17:26 -0600

In addition to the writers that Mr. Glato/Plato is complaining about
(those who do not engage themselves in the technical content of their
subject matter), I've also seen the opposite side of that ugly coin (to
mangle a metaphor): The techie who can't write.

This profession is filled with people that used to do something else.
Andrew mentioned the aspiring writers who turn to this field for a quick
buck. I've also seen more than my share of techies who drift into tech
writing, either so they don't have to keep up with new programming
languages, or because they assume that the fact that they know something
about a topic means they know how to COMMUNICATE this knowledge to others.
And in some cases, they're badly mistaken. These people take no interest
in the art/science/skill (whatever you prefer to consider it) of writing.
They just spew out facts in a way that makes sense to them. I find
documentation created by this sort of writer as useless as that created by
an "I'm just doing this until my screenplay sells" writer.

I sometimes wonder if Andrew in his Almighty Quest For Content ignores the
fact that not everybody can WRITE. Before Andrew launches a Bunker Buster
at me, let me hasten to add that it's obvious that Andrew CAN write - I
LOVE his writing! But he may be so used to writing well that he forgets it
does not come naturally to all.

My point: Learn your subject matter. Learn to write. I don't care in which
order, but please do BOTH before you write any documentation.



- Keith Cronin

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Tech writers. Chicks dig 'em.



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