RE: STC Transformation -- info

Subject: RE: STC Transformation -- info
From: Lippincott Richard J Contr ESC/NI <Richard -dot- Lippincott -at- hanscom -dot- af -dot- mil>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 12:48:41 -0400

I asked:

>> How on earth do you come up with a "certification" that covers both
>> of these areas?

And John Posada answered:

>By ignoring the subject about which you are writing and concentrate
>on the process of writing.

Bingo! We're on the same wavelength here.

> I think it has to do with your
>writing skills, you knowledge of how to learn the subject, how to
>manage a project, how to break down subjects into small-enough
>elements that can be handled, etc.

That's the common core to what we all do. But it's also some of the most difficult to quantify in terms of "certification," which may well be why this idea keeps dying on the vine.

And maybe there is another factor involved. Most people can be taught the skills John listed, but it doesn't mean that most people have a talent for it. I was "taught" guitar back when I was a teen and may still have my certificate that says I completed the guitar lessons, but that doesn't mean I can play worth spit. A tech writing certification system could well lead to "certified" tech writers who can't write, which defies the entire point of the process.

Maybe that's another reason why this idea has had so much trouble getting off the ground: our employers see no value in it. I'm reminded of the struggling company that Steve Jong wrote about yesterday (the one who developed a product without market research, but launched simply because "nobody else is doing this"). Sometimes niches aren't filled because there isn't any need to fill them.

--Rick Lippincott
Bedford, MA


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