Re: Re: Fwd: Technical Writing - What's the catch?

Subject: Re: Re: Fwd: Technical Writing - What's the catch?
From: Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 13:09:46 -0500

> Guy K. Haas commented:
> [Sue points out that TW jobs go to India because the cost is less...]
> I agree with most of that, with one addition: when the code is being developed
> in India, having the writing done by people who sit among the programmers CAN be
> superior to having it done by more-practiced people half a world away...

I absolutely agree here; it is always easier to write about
software when you have direct contact with the development
staff. The ability to ask one question based on another, to
evesdrop in the hallways, and to "do lunch" with the devs
often allows a writer to capture nuances that can easily
be missed in a distance relationship.

And that starts me wondering whether, in cases where the
entire development effort has been offshored, there is less
of an eagle-eye on the bottom line and more opportunity for
innovation and improvement. One would hope so, but the view
from my particular trenches indicates that, for most of these
projects, economic considerations trump all.

>...More than a dictionary is called for, though. There is a field of study termed
> in the U.S. "English as Second Language (ESL)." It uses the tools of
> linguistics as well as grammar and vocabulary to improve the idiom of persons
> who were not taught English by Americans (or Brits or Aussies or Kiwis)...

Thanks for providing this insight as well, Guy. Is there an
online source for this type of study or does it require
personal instruction? I'd be interested to learn what
techniques you use to improve your remote teams.

-Sue Gallagher
(and this time, I remembered to click "Reply All"!!! <g>)


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