Why they don't ask for candidates by technology skills.

Subject: Why they don't ask for candidates by technology skills.
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 10:59:22 -0500

Hi, guys...last night just as I was closing up, I saw a position for an
intermediate technical write posted on another list. What stuck me odd was
that it had a laundry list of technical writer requirements, but not one
with technology requirements.

Following is the message that I sent him and after that, the response I got
this morning. I think it reveals something about our field. What I also
found odd was that the position was to document large capacity data storage
devices...I would have thought that this was a fairly common requirement,
especially in Silicon Valley where the position was from, but I guess not.
Are we, as a whole, that much less technical than I thought?

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
icq: 178047452
aim: jposada1
"When you only have two minutes to do
something that takes three, wait until you have three"

My message -----------
>..a question off-list. I'm not trying to be a wiseass...it just seems
>to come naturally, but just curious...don't you want anyone who knows
>anything about your technology? Wouldn't some knowledge of data storage go
>alot further than knowledge of style guides?
>For instance...it's got to be easier to teach how to use a template than
>how SOC technology works. I only mention because knowledge of anything
>product/technology related was conspicuous in its absence.

His response---------
Although we'd definitely love to find somebody with such knowledge, from
our previous hiring experience, writers with such specific backgrounds have
been virtually impossible to find. Heck, I was a software writer myself
before xxx. If the candidate demonstrates the technical potential to
learn our technology, we're willing to consider them.

You are right, though, in that it can't hurt to ask.
Thanks for the feedback,


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