Re: Subject Matter Expertise-YES!
As a writer I've had to run off to a corner somewhere
with "Introduction to..." handbooks, sign up for whatever internal training was
available or just corner SME's and say "they've given me a week to learn enough
about what you do to get this document done before the beta ships,"...
In other words, you ran of to aquire knowledge. That's good. If you were documenting an API for example, you probably would have run off to write a Hello World program at the very least - and probably would have warned everybody that you're less than qualified but since there's nobody else, you'll take a crack at it. Then, in the process of your job, you would probably learn very much - gain subject matter expertise.
All these things support the argument for subject matter expertise. If you have to scramble to get it, studied the subject in school, or were born with the expertise isn't the issue. The issue is that you have to recognize your particular level of expertise next to the *required* level of expertise, and get off your duff to close the gap. I'll add that closing the gap is a skill, and one can gain experience and expertise in that as well.
Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es
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