Re[2]: Most Impt. Skill to Learn in Tech Comm Program

Subject: Re[2]: Most Impt. Skill to Learn in Tech Comm Program
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 17:15:46 -0400

Dawson pointed out: "Without any technical knowledge, I could easily
write [ non-technical ] documents, but I would be at a loss when
confronted with writing [ administrator guides / integrator guides ]."

The proportions of non-tech vs. tech in your job sound different from
mine. Over 90% of my docs have been for end-users. But when I have to
write something more technical, I'm not at a loss; it just means I
have to ask a lot of questions and do my homework. It's not as easy,
but it's manageable.

The thing is, my background is a solid liberal arts education that
sharpened my analytical skills and taught me how to learn. I'm
comfortable picking up new knowledge, whether it's middle English
poetry or abstruse database interfaces. (Given the choice, I
grudgingly choose the latter.)

Acquiring some technical knowledge as an undergrad--or any other
time--is a good thing, but if you dive into a comp sci degree program
or an MCSE certification, it's liable to crowd out other kinds of
learning, such as writing instruction. There are only so many years in
a degree program and hours in a day.

On the other hand, maybe there are comp sci people out there with a
natural knack for language, just as there are English majors with geek
tendencies. We TWs come from a variety of backgrounds, and each of us
can probably argue passionately for our own choice.

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