Re: This too is technical communication

Subject: Re: This too is technical communication
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 15:04:11 -0700

I think that many of the aptitudes necessary to be an effective
technical writer are indeed similar to those needed to contribute
in areas such as quality engineering/assurance or UI design/
evaluation, and that it would certainly serve a good writer's
interests to acquire the training, skills and/or experience that are
also needed. Where the disconnect in this discussion is for
me is the arguement offered by some that technical writers,
by virtue of their "critical thinking" and "information architecture"
skills and their inherently superior insight into user needs, are
*already* equipped to add value in these areas that those who
work in them now cannot, and that therefore their roles should
be expanded and any company that does not do so is foolishly
ignoring a valuable resource.

I don't think I've ever had a position in "technical writing" that
did not involve a certain amount of problem finding/solving
and sitting up at night minding things being burned in or
otherwise tested, but I have most certainly known (and
managed) people I thought were very good writers who
couldn't have added any value at all in these areas if their
lives depended on it. If you think you have what it takes
to expand your role within the development process, by all
means do so, but don't expect people to automatically see
the "value" you can add before you've actually added any.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>

> I'd argue these other disciplines are not some mystic
> unreachable goal that requires a graduate degree, but
> skills related to writing that can be adopted by
> technical writers who wish to move forward. It's part
> of the definition of "writer" and not "technical
> writer," although technology is involved.
> I think it's important to note that technology is far
> more pervasive in 2007 than it was in 2000, even, and
> people are looking for more than WTFM. By taking on
> multiple roles, you concentrate knowledge, and I think
> serve the development process better and with better
> results, which benefits everyone.


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RE: This too is technical communication: From: Chris Borokowski

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