RE: Technical Writing

Subject: RE: Technical Writing
From: Martha J Davidson <editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 11:19:45 -0800

At 11:56 AM 3/21/2003 -0600, Anameier, Christine A wrote:

I write end-user software documentation for applications that
didn't exist when I was in college. I can't see how majoring in
engineering or programming back then could have helped me with my
current work.

I document software development tools for programming languages that
didn't exist when I was in college. That doesn't mean that the FORTRAN
class I took in my freshman year was useless; it taught me what programming
is about and how programming languages can be used.

The underlying concepts provided a foundation that's still useful to me today,
even though no one was talking about anything "object-oriented" in the mid-70s
and I never heard of development tools other than compilers and debuggers
at that time.

FWIW, I took two courses in philosophy and they've had no
impact on my marketability one way or the other. In fact, beyond
"English major," nobody knows anything about my undergraduate studies,
and nobody ever asks.

Fwiw, my undergraduate degree is a double-major in math and philosophy
(I was aiming for logic :). Even though it's been 25 years since I got that
degree and I can't claim to remember many specifics of any of the classes
I took, it was that precise combination that played a major role in my
getting the job I have today. I'm documenting a new type of automated
testing tool for Java developers, and an understanding of logic was one
of the things that's made it easier for me to get what this tool does and
to be able to describe it in terms that make sense to developer-types.

martha, whose experience is often different from other people's

Martha Jane {Kolman | Davidson}
Dances With Words
editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
--Albert Einstein

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