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: Beth Agnew <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:11:25 -0500


You're correct Paul. What we do as technical communicators is bridge the gap between the expert and the user/reader. It has been my point all along that if the job is writing, i.e. conveying information about a subject, one should be an expert at writing, not necessarily an expert about the subject.

Inevitably, in the process of investigating the subject in order to write about it, we will learn much. We also must be adept at getting pertinent information from our SMEs. Rapid acquisition of information, comprehension and processing, then communicating the important facts and context to our audience is the hallmark of the successful technical communicator. SMEs are rarely capable of, or interested in, doing that. Business analysts and systems analysts perform similar functions within their spheres of expertise -- bridging users and technology.

Sure, the more you know about a subject, the better. Up to the point where you are so immersed in it that you can no longer see it objectively.

It's the black-and-white position that "you must otherwise you can't" with which I take issue. Communication is not a one/zero occupation.
--Beth

Paul DuBois wrote:


Beth, maybe you can clarify here, but wasn't your point that being
an expert doesn't necessarily help you write well?

Certainly, a writer possessing lots of knowledge on a subject will write
better than possessing none. But the expert with knowledge may not necesarily
write well at all.

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--
Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133
http://www.agnewcom.com




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References:
RE: Have to know Programming to be able to write about it? -- NO: From: John Posada
Re: Have to know Programming to be able to write about it? -- NO: From: Paul DuBois

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