RE: Article: "Living Documentation"

Subject: RE: Article: "Living Documentation"
From: "Beth Agnew" <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 14:03:08 -0800

Some of these "non-understanding tech writers" have developed amazing coping
skills that allow them to pass themselves off as competent. I have come
across a few in my time. They are clever at fooling other people. Just as
people who cannot read manipulate situations so that they avoid being
exposed, these un-writers develop ways of masking their inadequacies.

When they work for a non-technical manager, they get away with everything.
If they can continue to work for and with people who do not know the
difference, they can enjoy lengthy and lucrative careers as technical
writers. Unfortunately, this contributes to the perception that techwriters
don't contribute much to an organization, because certainly these people

-----Original Message-----
>Mike O. wrote:

>>Who continues to hire and
>>retain all these non-understanding tech writers? Why is there such a
>>demand for them, and why are they rewarded with continued employment?
>Perhaps because the pool of technical technical writers is small? Or
>because technical writing isn't considered much of a priority by many

>>Surely if 99.9% of their employees did not understand their technology,
>>our steely-eyed executives would get rid of them?
>Assuming, of course, that the executives understand the technology
>enough to notice when an employee doesn't. That's a large assumption, in
>my experience.

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416-491-5050 x3133

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Re: Article: "Living Documentation": From: Bruce Byfield

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