RE: Source for statistics on the technical writing field

Subject: RE: Source for statistics on the technical writing field
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 14:06:19 -0600

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

> Things that are simpler upfront are invariably more complex under the
> hood. There is as much, if not more, documentation needed for
> simplified user interfaces as there has ever been for more complex
> ones,
> but it is mostly be in support of those who must install and service
> them rather than those who use them, and the depth of product and
> technology knowledge required to author them is greater. If these
> documents are often not being prepared by technical writers, perhaps
> one
> reason for that is the difficulty of finding writers with the
necessary
> technical background to do the job without having to be spoon-fed
> information by SMEs.

Exactly. Except that I'd say what's necessary (and in demand) isn't so
much an extensive technical background as the ability and willingness to
learn and understand the technical information.

In telecommunications, for instance, a writer who reads the relevant
RFCs and then asks intelligent questions about the product's conformance
to the standards is far more valuable than the one who asks the SME,
"Have you got a write-up about this SIP stuff that I can use?"

More valuable still is the writer who can explain to the engineer that
the latter misinterpreted something in RFC 4028 when he implemented
support for session timers. I love it when I get to do that. :-)

Richard


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Source for statistics on the technical writing field: From: john rosberg
Re: Source for statistics on the technical writing field: From: Peter Neilson
RE: Source for statistics on the technical writing field: From: Kat Kuvinka
Re: Source for statistics on the technical writing field: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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