Re: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â

Subject: Re: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 00:32:45 -0500

Depending on the audience, the other thing developers/engineers have a hard
time doing is taking a user's perspective. They just know so much about
what they're doing they miss some basic points that can be very helpful or
important.

Grammar and spelling aside, technical writers can fill that gap between the
product and the user that is hard or impossible for the engineer to see.

Kathleen


On Sun, Oct 11, 2015 at 10:06 PM, Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca> wrote:

> Craig,
>
> As usual, you struck a nerve and hit a hot button issue. This is starting
> to turn into a one-upmanship contest, which isn't quite what you intended.
> So I will instead post how I would respond to such a blatant
> misunderstanding of our profession.
>
> Hello. I am responding to your request: "What we need is a developer who
> can write."
>
> I know several developers, and all of them can write very well. They are
> clear, but they aren't concise. They can accurately document their API
> methods and properties, but they can't string together an end-to-end
> product use case, or a line of sample code that can demonstrate to
> newcomers how easy it can be to integrate your product with theirs.
>
> This disconnect between developers has cost many software companies
> millions of dollars in potential sales because they hired "developers who
> can write" rather than "writers who can get into the minds of developers."
> In an interview, I could explain to you why your current developer-level
> documentation is preventing others from using your API to build useful
> products to change the world, and outline a 5-point strategy for revising
> your documentation to increase developer satisfaction and earn you more
> money.
>
> However, if you would still prefer to speak to my developer-friends who can
> write, call me and we'll chat about them instead.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Tony Chung
> Information experience producer
> with 'web Swiss-army knife skilz'
>
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 8:13 AM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
> wrote:
>
> > Seen on the web: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â
> >
> > Letâs take it as a given that as technical writers, we can write.
> >
> > To increase our value, we need to learn addition skills, such as a
> > programming language.
> >
> > What other skills do you all have?
> >
> > Iâll go first. I know basic HTML. I have edited code. I can edit sound
> and
> > image files. A few other things, too.
> >
> >
> > Cordially,
> > Craig Cardimon | Senior Technical Writer
> > Marketing Systems Group
> >
> >
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

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References:
“What we need is a developer who can write.”: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â: From: Tony Chung

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