Re: Technical vs. writing knowledge

Subject: Re: Technical vs. writing knowledge
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 15:35:58 EST

Steve Pope <spope -at- CHAR -dot- VNET -dot- NET> asks:

> What knowledge is best for technical writers: technical or writing
> knowledge.

Both, of course. :-)

IMHO, the best technical writers are generalists: they know
something about everything. In addition, they grasp new concepts
quickly and can assimilate those concepts with previously-acquired

Subject-matter experts, in contrast, need to know a lot about a
few things; they're specialists. Tech writers often have to
work with lots of different SMEs on any given project, and each
SME has his or her own area of expertise. It's the writer's
job to assimilate all the stuff from the SMEs, then translate
it for the intended audience.

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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