RE: Could you possibly be a chimp? (was: Are you a writer?)

Subject: RE: Could you possibly be a chimp? (was: Are you a writer?)
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 11:47:07 -0500

Oh please, because I'm not a programmer, I'm not as skilled as you? I'm not
a real writer? I'm not a SME?

Hooey. I have to understand about trust funds, mutual funds, stocks, bonds,
portfolio manager mentality, government compliance, XML, ASP, layout and
design, adult learning, resistance to change, marketing, and finance... and
that's just for starters

Please don't try to tell me a monkey can do my job. I have to understand
how business SME's and technical SME's want to do things, and find the best
way to marry the two. And, make sure a portfolio manager can use one
product, while an accounting clerk can use another. It sure as heck isn't
something most people can do. Some of us are technical SME's , some of us
communication SME's, and some of us business SME's. I guess I'm a metaSME.

Connie P. Giordano
Senior Technical Writer
Advisor Technology Services
A Fidelity Investments Company
704-330-2069 (w)
704-330-2350 (f)
704-957-8450 (c)
connie -dot- giordano -at- fmr -dot- com <mailto:connie -dot- giordano -at- fmr -dot- com>

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to
do it." - Pablo Picasso

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Writer [mailto:piercedroo -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: Could you possibly be a chimp? (was: Are you a writer?)

People. Relax. You're all right. Just not about the same things.

If all you are writing is GUI User Guides, Installation Manuals (which only
require a walk-through of the Install Wizard, System Requirements, and How
To Configure a few files), Policy/Procedure Manuals, or Product
Overviews....then NO...a resounding do not need to be an SME. Heck,

the 'ol "1000 chimps with a 1000 typewriters" rules probably holds true for
these types of documents.

But if you are writing API reference guides, you better have a very high
level of knowledge of the programming langague. Writing a Network
Integration Guide, where the customer must develop their own interface to
your product using an API? You better understand networking concepts AND the

programming language better than the customer's network admin.

If you are writing documents that others will use to do their very technical

jobs (developers, DBAs, systems integrators, etc), then you better know at
least as much about how to do their job as they do.

There are a heap of writers out here who not only understand OOP concepts,
but who can write code too. Some of us out even know how to use and write
SQL statements in addition to our "high-level" understanding of relational
database concepts.

Do I have to be an expert on assembling Boeing aircraft to write a
Developer's Guide for configuration software that is used to properly
assemble an aircraft that has more than a million configurations? No. But I
do have to understand the modeling language. No, wait. I have to KNOW the
modeling language.

And when push comes to shove, people with truly technical skills will get
the jobs, and get paid more to do them.

But hey, companies need people to doc their GUIs too. I understand.


Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

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