Re: Career|Skill Advice

Subject: Re: Career|Skill Advice
From: Lisa G Wright <lisawright -at- mail -dot- utexas -dot- edu>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 17:37:17 -0500

I totally agree that knowing HTML is essential, and basic coding/tagging structures. You should not be dependent on a web programmer for this. Understanding concepts of how software is put together (e.g., compiled or runtime) and the tools that developers use, such as Eclipse, is critical. Understand the architecture of web applications.

I do think that if you're in software, you should go as far as you can in learning what you're working with (well, I suppose that applies to anything). With that said, I'd suggest that while it may be ideal to know how to code yourself, it isn't required, at least in my experience. I can read enough code to be fairly self-sufficient and work with the developers, but I'm not a programmer and never will be. My brain doesn't work that way and I'm not going to break it with trying. I don't have any interest in it. If you find me napping at my desk, it may be because someone asked me to read a Java book. :-)

Lisa

On 11/3/2011 10:23 AM, Bill Swallow wrote:

The ability to read code. It can start as basic as knowing actual coding of HTML, but trying to find some lower-level or continuing education college programs you can take to learn the basics of some coding (like Java) is a help, even if you don't plan on switching from Tech Writing to engineering. Knowing HTML coding cuts your dependency on tools to help you convert things over to HTML formats, and a general knowledge of code structures (and how not to break things) has always been a great help to me. Can I quickly program Java code? No. But I can look at it and troubleshoot where there may be problems, and my developers can be certain I know enough where I'm allowed to poke around the actual code for the product to correct things like grammar that is part of the code, and just see what the code is actually doing, without breaking anything else.
I'd go one step further and say once you can understand code, you need
to know what to do with it. Should you be able to create sample
applications? If you're documenting APIs and SDKs, then ideally that
answer is "yes".


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References:
Career|Skill Advice: From: Roberta Hennessey
RE: Career|Skill Advice: From: Wroblewski, Victoria
Re: Career|Skill Advice: From: Bill Swallow

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