Non-technical technical writers

Subject: Non-technical technical writers
From: "Dana Worley (MVP/JB)" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 09:34:14 -0700

I find it interesting that on a list of technical writers, there are many people who say they rate on a scale of 1 to 3 when it comes to being technically savvy. I further find interest in comments that boil down to "my company produces Android apps, but I have no desire to learn about Android". How can you write documentation that will be useful to your users if you have no experience with the technology?

I know technical takes on all forms, so perhaps many are technical in a particular field while being Luddites in most others, but it seems to me it would behoove any technical writer to try to be at least a little familiar with "technology".

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a woman a few months ago at a seminar. She introduced herself as a technology writer, but later told me she knew nothing about technology. I file that in the category of "things that make you go, 'huh'".


Campbell Scientific, Inc.
Product Manager, Software Products
Microsoft Help MVP 2002-2012
Jester's Baubles Fused Glass Designs


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