Re: What to look for in a technical editor

Subject: Re: What to look for in a technical editor
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 09:40:28 +0200

Plato says:
The inverse, however, is not true for tech writers. Very few tech writers have strong technical skills. Therefore they are operating from a disadvantage. The engineer can do a tech writers job a lot easier than a tech writer can do an engineer's job.

Now I see the crux of the biscuit, as it were... Andrew has just spent too much time with non-technical tech writers. I have not had that experience. The non-technical writers I have worked with stuck to non-technical areas - or better yet, they were put on the tutorials where they both learned the product and tested the viability of the tutorial. But I consider myself a technical writer - funny thing is, I make more money programming than writing these days. (Telecommute writing in today's economic climate is a hard sell...) I know a number of others who have made the same leap. And if you want to think in terms of levels, at the level below us folks who turn into programmers there are plenty of writers who become/are product specialists. They tend to know more about the use and big picture than the developers, become true user advocates, and even perform a valuable test function because they verify their claims before commiting them to the manuals.

I guess I've been working outside of the real world for all these years. Sure glad there's money out there...
Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es


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