RE: It is required to go Technical?

Subject: RE: It is required to go Technical?
From: "Grant, Christopher" <CGrant -at- glhec -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 15:58:31 -0500

> How technical should a technical writer get?I have been in
> this field for two years now and I have always had this question in mind.
> Will the ability to understand applications, software products and good
> documentation skills be sufficient or is something more required?

As others have wisely said, look through the archives. There are some valid
points to both sides of the argument. This is pretty much "the" question
WRT technical writing, IMHO.


- I have never been in a situation where having technical knowledge has hurt
me (as long as I remember that my readers don't necessarily have the
technical knowledge I do - very important.)

- I have been in MANY situations where having technical knowledge has helped

- Having technical knowledge (both of my subject matter specifically, and my
medium generally) means that I tend to get first whack at marquee projects
that are thrown at my team. Because I have technical knowledge to begin
with, I can hit the ground running and my learning curve is likely to be
less steep.

I think the debate over whether it's _necessary_ or not is one thing - what
_advantage_ having technical knowledge gives you is another. I'm not sure
it's absolutely necessary, but in my experience, the advantage it gives me
(over writers without it, in getting up to speed on a project, in owning my
work, in producing help that's actually helpful, etc.) is tremendous. YMMV.

Chris Grant

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