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RE: Coaching less experienced folks on asking good questions
Subject:RE: Coaching less experienced folks on asking good questions From:"Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com> To:"'Phil'" <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L list'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Mon, 28 Feb 2011 09:08:09 -0800
In my experience, baby writers and senior writers make the same mistake for
very different reasons.
Baby writers don't know enough yet to raise their hand when they are in
trouble. They don't know what trouble looks like.
Senior writers don't raise their hands when they're in trouble because they
think they can handle it.
The trick with the either is to create an atmosphere where both are perhaps
over communicating, for different reasons. The baby writer needs to learn so
they are going to ask a lot of questions. The senior writer needs to expose
what's going on so someone else can see issues.
From: techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Phil
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2011 8:53 AM
To: TECHWR-L list
Subject: Re: Coaching less experienced folks on asking good questions
If you think of your new, inexperienced colleague as rather in terms of an
"apprentice" - someone who needs to learn the domain but quickly - the idea
of telling them they have "a question budget" strikes me as the worst kind
[snipped good stuff]
While much of the advice in this thread is good, if it is not backed up with
supervision and support you're likely to end up with a technical writer
making big mistakes in their documentation for fear of asking questions that
will draw nothing but ire.
Advice for not asking stupid questions on an open-source help forum
(referring back to the OP's link here) and advice for not asking questions
in a professional environment (where all are supposed to be pulling towards
the same goal) are rather different kettles of fish. Or so it seems to me.
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