RE: KM=BS (mostly)

Subject: RE: KM=BS (mostly)
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:10:36 -0500

>>Yes, you should know something about the subject you are documenting. It is
>>our job to tell the reader how <thisproduct> makes their job easier. How can
>>we do that if we don't understand their needs or how the product fulfills
>>those needs?

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I agree with you completely. I do not and never
have disagreed with the point that what makes us Technical Writers is our
technical knowledge and ability to share that knowledge. What I was referring to
is the position that seems to be taken by some that a techwriter must know a
product in more intimate detail than the SMEs and understand the requirements of
the users and know how to document well. This is an exaggerated position and I
recognize it as such, but some on the list don't seem to see the needless
extremes of the positions they take.

On style guides and processes:
>>They are there to make life easier. If they take up more time than the actual
>>writing, they aren't doing what they are meant to do.

Once again, I wholly agree. I think that when we look at the list traffic on the
various debates regarding this subject the vast majority if not all techwhirlers
agree as well. What some fail to realize or accept is that in some cases,
particularly in large corporations, some people have the sole job of writing
guides and processes. They may devote all their time to these tasks, but the
important point is that their department, if it is efficient, certainly spends
the majority of its time writing.

>>Just as there is more to a programmer's job than just writing lines of code,
>>there is more to techwriting than just writing. However, it's a question of

In the right setting having someone focus on style and process allows all the
others to focus on production.

Eric L. Dunn

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