Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived

Subject: Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:50:32 -0800 (PST)

> If an accountant is stereotyped as boring, a lawyer as money
> grabbing, and a used car saleman as .....well we all know - What is
> the stereotype for a tech writer?

Nit picking little weasels obsessed with the mundane and unimportant?

Whenever I am out working with a client on a security implementation, they'll
sometimes ask "what did you do before this." Then I tell them I did
programming, database development, and technical writing. Almost without fail I
get a groan and a "Jeez, aren't you glad to be out of that?" Most technical
people find technical writing boring, dull, and unpleasant. They also think
tech writers are by and large failed poets who are desperately trying to apply
soft skills to hard technology.

> Additionally I would like to know why you believe we are perceived as
> such?

There is a shred of truth in every stereotype.

> And lastly, if you have any ideas on how to changed this perception I
> would appreciate it. I understand the value we contribute, the
> reduced customer support calls, improved product value, independent
> product validation, useability, etc.

More technical knowledge, less obsession over tools, grammar, and methods.

Andrew Plato

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