RE: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?

Subject: RE: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:50:07 -0500


::: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! The closer you
::: are to the coal
::: face, the less you can see. Having software development or
::: any expertise
::: can (NOTICE not will!) put you in the position of making
::: assumptions based
::: on your knowledge that could leave your reader stranded.

Knowledge is never dangerous. Ever. How you use it can be.

True, the closer or more involved you are with something, the harder it
can be to step back and approach things from a user's perspective.
BUT...

A writer who knows C++ is not inherently closer to a product that was
developed with C++. But, knowing C++ can help the writer get into the
code (especially early on when a beta or earlier build might not be
available yet) and figure some things out that might not be detailed in
the specs. In the case of a finished compiled product though,
programming experience will have little impact on a writer's ability to
explain to a user how to use a GUI or what business solutions the
product provides.

Also, when documenting at the API level, the more you know, the more you
can communicate. When documenting at the code level, it's very hard to
do so without experience (even basic experience) with programming of any
kind.

BILL SWALLOW
Information Design & Development Professional
tel/fax: 518.371.1867
wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com



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RE: Am I qualified to be a Technical Writer based on my knowledge ---?: From: Nutting, John

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