RE: What does it mean to be technical?

Subject: RE: What does it mean to be technical?
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 11:43:38 -0400

Goober Writer said:

> But really, what does it mean to be technical?

In general, it means to know how.

Specifically, as a description of an approriate qualification for a
technical writer, it means:

1. To have the tool and task knowledge of an expert user of your product.
2. To have sufficient knowledge to communicate effectively with the
engineers who develop your product.

The qualifications necessary to fulfill point 2 vary based on how your
engineers communicate. If they write thorough design documents, for
instance, you may require less technical knowledge than if they just code
stuff up. If code is the only form of communication they produce, then you
have to read code to communicate with them.

Notice that neither of the above points involves any specific piece of
knowledge, they are both entirely circumstantial. However, it is perhaps
easier, at least in the software world, to anticipate skills that might be
useful in meeting point 2.
Mark Baker
Senior Technical Writer
Stilo Corporation
1900 City Park Drive, Suite 504 , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1J 1A3
Phone: 613-745-4242, Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com

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What does it mean to be technical?: From: Goober Writer

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