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The concept is exceptionally misleading, and widely taught in university
classes in "technical writing." The fallacy is that the "user" is assumed to
be witless and clueless, so a writer can dumb down basic material to
sixth-grade level and call it "technical writing."
Certainly, a few basic manuals and intro software help files may be in that
category. Other than that, if you don't understand what you are writing
about clearly enough to explain it to a peer or SME, you have no business
calling yourself a technical writer.
There are any number of English majors with topnotch secretarial skills who
can perform such work for a modest salary and do so quite happily. The only
thing that separates a technical writer from a technical secretary is
subject knowledge in the field they are documenting.
I suggest that aspiring tech writers spend more time learning calculus,
programming--and any other tech subject they can handle--rather than
worrying whether they should memorize keyboard shortcuts for FrameMaker or
RoboHELP first. There are endless legions of Journalism and English majors
to fill those positions, as an alternative to working at Wendy's.
Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
Check out the new release of RoboDemo, our easy-to-use tutorial software.
Plus, buy RoboHelp Office in August and save $100 with our mail-in rebate.
Get details and download free trial versions at http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
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