Re: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler

Subject: Re: Certification: Ernest and Scribbler
From: Rick Stone <rstone75 -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 15:38:47 -0500

What purpose does certification hold for STC? A tool to prevent
"uncertified" folks from being promoted? Something to beat folks over
the head with until they acquiesce and agree that they must become
certified and therefore "pay their dues"?

Is this certification a hurdle that STC is building so it becomes more
difficult to join STC? In other words, STC is seeing too many "riff
raff" or "unqualified" folks applying for membership, so they need to
stem the flow?

So much of what I see with your Goofus and Gallant (Sorry, Ernest and
Scribbler) examples is too subjective. Perhaps a project manager really
wants a Scribbler that turns work around fast because Ernest is too
worried about trying to work perfectly so the work cannot be produced in
a timely manner. Perhaps Ernest avoids screenshots like the plague and
they might actually, I dunno... Be helpful or something! (gasp)

Like Bill, I too see pros and cons for each.

Cheers... Rick :)

Steven Jong wrote:
> [What follows is at heart a request for comments on one aspect of certification of technical communicators. I hope it entertains you and that you respond, but at the same time I really want feedback, and really will incorporate it into what we're doing. So it's fun with a purpose -- Steve]
>
> As STC works on implementing certification, it's helpful to keep in mind the profile of a practitioner who should get certified and one who shouldn't. Doc managers can tell you who sits atop their ladder and who languishes at the bottom. There are characteristics of hIgh and low performers. We want to certify on attributes associated with high performers. But what are they?
>
> Remember Goofus and Gallant, the characters from _Highlights for Children_ ? 60 years ago they set examples of good and bad behavior. I'm trying to imagine a pair of writers, Ernest and Scribbler, and see if they can show us the way. Here are some examples that come to mind. Do you have any others?
>
> -- Steve
>
> Ernest:
>
> Takes extra time to use variables for product and company names; keeps source files clean; uses styles or templates
> Copyedits (at least) all input
> Works to a plan
> Follows the style guide even if it's not very good
> Reports status
> Selects, captures, and crops screens wherever appropriate
> Explains what every menu selection does
> Takes time off for professional development
>
> Scribbler:
>
> Gets the work done fast and minimally; doesn't waste time fondling fonts
> Copies and pastes input--why monkey with what the SME said?
> Gets work done and turned around ASAP
> Improves on the style guide
> Is too busy writing to tell people about it
> Throws in screenshots wherever possible
> Shows where every menu selection goes
> Is good at the job and doesn't need to change
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Certification: Ernest and Scribbler: From: Steven Jong

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