Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!

Subject: Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:33:00 -0400

If you hire a bunch of technical writers who only have an English or Journalism degree, this might be true. Their strongpoint would be command of the English language.

However, if you hire a bunch of technical writers who have a technical or engineering background, you may be very wrong. One place I worked had about half of the writers holding a CCNA or higher. I'm making an assumption based on a quick view of your website that you are talking network security. So hire a writer with a CCNP-Security or a CCSP.

You will pay more than for the typical 5 year experience with Word and RoboHelp writer, but how much are you wasting right now with consultants who can't write?

Margaret's suggestion is a very good one.

Since you have the idea inside you of what you want, then you hold a training meeting. The seriousness of the boss coming down to teach them right and wrong should not be lost on the employees if he takes the time to hold the class. Then those that cannot perform after a month or so will need to find other employment.

Right now, I think Gene may be onto something since if they are not clear, they get paid to make it clear on the second time through. Remove that incentive to make that extra money (no pay for follow-ups or longer than 20 minutes or whatever standard you need) and I bet they all improve their writing.



----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Plato" <andrew -dot- plato -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
Cc: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!


I am in desperate need of tech writer training for my consultants. I
have a bunch of information security consultants who cannot write. Its
infuriating. I edit their material and I want to wring their necks.
They blather and yammer on about this and that - I need to teach these
people how to succinctly express complex ideas and write reports.

Wouldn't it be easier to just hire techwriters and teach them to do security consulting?

Ehhhhh, no.

It is unlikely a tech writer would have the engineering and security
background necessary to do security consulting. Moreover, we don't
have the resources to train people from that level. Our consultants
are experienced security analysts with a background in systems &
network administration or regulatory compliance.

Moreover, consulting is a whole unique discipline in and of itself.

Andrew Plato
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References:
Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Plato
RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Warren
Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Plato

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