RE: Essential software/programming skills for TC?

Subject: RE: Essential software/programming skills for TC?
From: john rosberg <john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 10:05:14 -0600






Phil -- no forgiveness is required, sir --

I know many writers (and some have reported to me in past lives) who would happily run their employers out of business in order to construct the "best possible" supporting documents for their products.

A product (software, in your case) has to be good enough to do the job that customers feel they need done.

It also needs to be priced in such a way to as give the customer good perceived value for the money.

But wait, there's more ;-}

It also has to create profit for the vendor.

Tech Comm adds cost to the product -- no doubt about that. That additional cost can certainly be worthwhile if the docs (help, quick start cards) make the customers pleased enough that they purchase more product, recommend it to peers, et al.

We, as a group of professionals, often get very involved in the minutia of our jobs, and, sometimes, do not remember to consider why we were hired in the first place. We were not hired to create docs, IMO -- we were hired to help make the products more profitable.

Sorry for highjacking the thread (rueful smile).





John Rosberg
Documentation and Training
john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com
2765 Deerfield Road
Riverwoods, IL 60015
847-502-1833




> Subject: Re: Essential software/programming skills for TC?
> From: philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com
> Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 22:55:44 +0800
> CC: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> To: john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com
>
> John, I'm not sure I understand. Please forgive my denseness ('density' just seems to be the wrong noun here...;-)
>
> Could you explain a little about what you mean by being "knowledgeable about the business end of TC"? What kind of "business aspects" are we talking about here, for example?
>
> I appreciate your patience.
>
> Many thanks
>
> Phil
> On 8 Dec 2010, at 22:18, john rosberg wrote:
>
> >
> > Phil Stokes asked
> >
> >
> >> What are the essential software/programming skills a new tech communicatior MUST possess?
> > <snip>
> >
> > I agree with Al Geist (no surprise, given our similar status as silverbacks) in that there is too much focus on tools, and too little on process and the business aspects of our profession. We, as a group, seem to be easily distracted by shiny things. ;-}
> >
> > That said, the requirements will vary all over the map depending on the company -- about the only sure bet is that the requirements will have changed, at least slightly, by the time you work hard to meet the existing list. (only slightly tongue in cheek).
> >
> > The lists others have presented on this thread are good, and I have nothing to add to them, other than a suggestion that you get to be great at your craft, and extremely knowledgeable about the business end of TC. This will set you apart from folks who are decent presenters of technical material, but talented in the use of a limited number of tools.
> >
> >
> >>
> > John Rosberg
> > Documentation and Training
> > john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com
> > 2765 Deerfield Road
> > Riverwoods, IL 60015
> > 847-502-1833
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Essential software/programming skills for TC?: From: john rosberg
Re: Essential software/programming skills for TC?: From: Phil

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