RE: Do I have to understand the material?

Subject: RE: Do I have to understand the material?
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 07:52:09 -0400


My claim: The more you know about the technology you are writing about, the
better you will be as a technical writer.

I'm really not sure how your factors impact the requirement that knowing
more or less about the subject will or will not make you a better writer and
if you are a staff writer, you don't need to know as much as possible about
the technology you are writing about.

Yes, I'm a contractor. However, regarding your qualification of what staff
writers do...

>staff writers are often hired with the understanding that they will need to
>be trained on the product lines for their company. Staff writers are often
>evaluated on a much different basis than contractors. Are they a good fit
>with the rest of the team? Do they have a demonstrated ability to learn new
>products and technology? In addition to their writing skills, do they bring
>other attributes, such as editing, web design, font fondling, or project
>management skills?

1) I work with a team...we even have an internal name. I instruct them on
how to prepare, create, and submit their developer documentation.
2) Right now, 75% of my day is devoted to learning the technology. It was
90% last week...
3) I'm leading the project's documentation development. I represent the
documentation effort at staff status meetings.
4) I'm designing a web page interface to the document repository for
intranet access

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
212-414-6656

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