RE: Stupendously learned user

Subject: RE: Stupendously learned user
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
To: "'Nancy Allison'" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 14:49:19 -0700

Why are you asking the engineer to think in terms of a 10 year-old? You
should be thinking like a 10 year-old and ask a lot of questions. It isn't
the SMEs job to think in terms that support documentation. The technical
writer needs to think in terms that support documentation. To think and ask
questions like, "How does this work?" "What does this do?" "How did we get
here?" "What will make it break?" "Can I play with it?" "Can I try to
break it?" "I didn't touch anything!" Yada, yada, yada, etc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lt34=csus -dot- edu -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lt34=csus -dot- edu -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Nancy Allison


> Yes, as I was saying, the "This too" thread is currently
> reviewing the useful role of the clueless idiot. I find this
> role helpful sometimes, but in my current job, it's of no use
> at all. Every time I try to get the engineer to think in
> terms of explaining the significance of his context-free
> strings of jargon, every time I say something like "Imagine
> you're explaining this to a bright 10-year-old" or "to a
> bright college intern" or "to someone who's new to the job"
> -- he gives me the same response:
> "No, no. Not 10-year-olds! No interns! Web services engineers
> are very knowledgeable, they're not beginners. The reader of
> this document won't have any trouble with this!"

Assumptions are great until they bite you in the tuckus.


> Is it Friday yet?

No. But it feels like one. On Friday I'll find out if the very first bid
for a state contract that I ever written (like that?) gets approved. This
was a fun little last minute learning experience for me and I'll get a
Business Analyst job out of it. C'mon Friday. 3 more days. Is that right?



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Stupendously learned user: From: Nancy Allison

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