Re: Should software documenters learn to read code?

Subject: Re: Should software documenters learn to read code?
From: Deb McNally <tig -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 06:54:27 -0500

I would have to disagree. I have been able to read (and write) code
for years. It definitely didn't change the way I think. What it did do
is make it so that I am able to understand what the programmers are
saying when they get stuck in 'programmer speak'. This has made me an
asset to the companies I have worked for because I can interpret and
explain to others.

Reading code is also a great item to have on your resume.

Deb
Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 12, 2009, at 10:03 AM, "Downing, David"
<DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com> wrote:

> Should technical writers who do software documentation -- which is
> most
> of us -- learn to read the actual code of the software they're
> documentation? Of course, on general principles, the more you know the
> better. And if you learned the programming language on your own time,
> the question of whether you should be spending your on-the-clock time
> doing so wouldn't be an issue.
>
> But there is a danger. One reason programmers tend to make bad
> documenters is that they think in terms of the mechanics of the
> program,
> rather than in terms of the tasks the end user needs to perform. I
> technical writer who starts reading code might start thinking this way
> as well.
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Should software documenters learn to read code?: From: Downing, David

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