Re: Tech writers and engineers

Subject: Re: Tech writers and engineers
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 09:23:12 -0800 (PST)

> Too Technical???
> I am very interested in Iliana's post. If I didn't poke and prod engineers
> and deveolopers around here I wouldn't know anything. It seems to me I
> should be more concerned with how the product works, not how the software
> is coded.
> John, are you supposing we technical writers know how to code? Personally I
> don't think that's relevant. So when someone mentions that the meetings are
> too technical, I immediately understood what that meant. I serioiusly doubt
> Tech writers are expected to know how to code software. That's the majority
> of the meetings around here and YES they are too technical.

Ignorance is not an asset.

Yes, knowing how to code would make you a better technical writer. While it
might not be necessary for a given job, its a skill that would never hurt you
to learn. If meetings are "too technical" then I would take that as a challenge
to learn the material and understand it. Once you understood the material, you
would likely not have problems anticipating changes or understanding how things

Furthermore, once you understood the material, you would be able to communicate
more effectively with engineers. You would also earn their respect since you
had taken the time and effort to learn what they were doing.

So, yes - you need to be as technical as possible.

You cannot accurately document a technology you do not understand.

Andrew Plato

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