Re: "Software Technical Writing is a Dying Career"

Subject: Re: "Software Technical Writing is a Dying Career"
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>, David Artman <david -at- davidartman -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:59:40 -0700

In my experience, this has more to do with motivation than with any innate natural talent. Sure, there are engineers who can't write and could never be taught to write, but they are far outnumbered by engineers who could write or be taught to write, but who flat out just don't WANT to write and will never put in any meaningful effort to learn to do it well.

The reason the technical writer exists as a job description is that there are people who are willing to learn how to write AND how to acquire the necessary subject matter knowledge to pry what they haven't got the time to learn themselves out of those who already know it, and who are usually willing to do it for somewhat less money than it would cost to get an engineer to take writing seriously enough to put in the effort to learn to do it well.

Gene Kim-Eng



On 8/21/2015 1:19 PM, John G wrote:


About 20 years ago, Joe related his memories of this debate in his keynote
address at an InterChange conference. He said that after trying to teach
engineers how to write for a few months, they gave up, hired some English
majors, explained things to them, and started getting cogent, structured,
and organized documents as a result.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: "Software Technical Writing is a Dying Career": From: David Artman
Re: "Software Technical Writing is a Dying Career": From: John G

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