RE: Have to know Programming to be able to write about it? -- NO

Subject: RE: Have to know Programming to be able to write about it? -- NO
From: Tammy VanBoening <Tammy -dot- VanBoening -at- netRegulus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:14:39 -0700


> > Is it possible that someone with geological training
> > would have created it in 1 week and not have tied up
> > the time of the SME?


Playing devil's advocate w/ this reply :- but I have seen someone who was a
technical writer but also a SME in this position - not by virture of being a
developer or a geologist or whatever, but because of previous writing
experience in the field. Because of their dual SME/writer status, they
imagined they knew it better than anyone and didn't bother to interact w/
the true SMEs at at the level needed, if at all. . .so, what they produced
was absolute crap.

When this writer was replaced, the new writer had no experience in the
field, but was a damn good writer and a very quick learner and they produced
some of the best documentation ever - actual feedback from customers using
the docs. Why? Because they knew how to manage their time, the SMEs' time
and ask the best questions and get the most out of their limited time w/ the
SMEs.

So, from my experience, being a SME in a field does not necessarily
translate into the best docs.


Tammy Van Boening
Senior Technical Writer
NetRegulus, Inc.
303-925-7721 (Direct)
303-925-7700 (Main)
303-662-9320 (Fax)
tammy -dot- vanboening -at- netregulus -dot- com
www.netregulus.com
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