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RE: Off to the side of Re: Interesting use of infographics for a resume
Subject:RE: Off to the side of Re: Interesting use of infographics for a resume From:davec <davec2468 -at- aim -dot- com> To:TechWr-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 2 Jul 2009 12:06:59 -0700
> > ... Will we ever return to the day when tech writers were hired
>> on the basis of their ability to understand and make sense
> > out of something in which they are not already experts?
I was hired on that basis, and I don't think I'm the only one.
Indeed. I have always understood that a good technical writer be good
not only at forming ideas into words and arranging them appropriately
on the page (pulp or web) but in being a "quick study", quick to
grasp ideas & concepts, learn the new and "grok" it. Then when the
project is through, they are (almost) a SME.
Then the writer begins the next project where he/she is the innocent
It is this saw-tooth learning curve that the writer climbs that makes
them most valuable to a product development team. The worst writers
are those so close to -- and familiar with -- the product that they
cannot take the innocent POV of a new customer. The writer, asking
"stupid" questions, is the most valuable member of the team, in many
ways, representing the user, noting what the ignorant customer
doesn't know and using that to form the basis of a good instructional
Oh, the many contracts I didn't get because the hiring manager was
looking for a writer who had in his/her portfolio a manual "just like
the one we need written". In other words, they were looking for a SME
who could write. It was my job to educate the manager in as short a
time as possible -- frequently in the time allotted for an interview
-- that a good writer is not required to be a SME, but rather be a
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