Re: Why are companies now requiring techical writer candidates to be SMEs?

Subject: Re: Why are companies now requiring techical writer candidates to be SMEs?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 14:07:22 -0700 (PDT)


"Chuck Martin" wrote

> For example, what would hiring managers who posted a job such as the one
> above think of a cover letter asserting that subject matter expertise in the
> particular product or product type may in fact be detrimental to developing
> better and more useful documentation? That a certain unfamiliarity of a
> product will actually elicit areas in which the resulting documentation
> needs to focus (and also provide information for future improvements in
> product design)?

Ignorance is not an asset. Never has been, never will be.

A writer is not good to an employer if they are ignorant of the technologies or
products that company makes. Being a "user's advocate" does not mean the writer
is clueless about the technology and can therefore "sympathize with the users."
A true user's advocate knows the technology inside and out and can explain
those details, with tremendous depth of insight, to users in a concise and
effective manner.

The job description you posted sounds perfectly normal to me. Company's are
wising up and demanding that technical writers have technical and industry
skills. Its a good trend. Writers with strong tech and industry skills are
simply more qualified.

Andrew Plato




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