Re: Manuals can be important

Subject: Re: Manuals can be important
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 11:34:57 -0500

Mike Stockman <mstockman -at- mac -dot- com> wrote:

>I've worked with numerous writers accepted blindly whatever a developer
>told them (or what they thought they heard from a developer), even if it
>didn't make sense (and I would say so to them, only to be told that the
>developer had said it, so it had to be true).

I've encountered that situation, but I interpreted it differently. It seemed to me that the writers in question were so insecure about their grasp of the technology (deservedly insecure as they really didn't grasp the technology) that they didn't know enough to challenge an SME.

I've had cases where I corrected something as small but significant as a simple math error and thereby incurred the wrath of my innumerate supervisor (but not that of the SME of course).

I take the position that tech writers ought to be writers, yes, and even writers who know how to learn to use tools, but also, importantly, writers with an interest in and comprehension of the technology they are writing about. Poets looking for a meal ticket need not apply.


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