Subject: Background
From: Paul Strandlund <Paul -dot- Strandlund -at- X400UX -dot- SASKTEL -dot- SK -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 11:33:23 -0600

Reply to: Background
> Here's a general question for technical writers and educators:

> What do you find is the best combination between technical knowledge and
>composition experience? In other words, should an aspiring technical
>writer/educator strive to be more versed on computer science fundamentals or
> advanced grammar? Where do you believe that one's priorities should be
> placed? Make any distinctions (ie education vs. workplace) that you
> need to make as I understand that different circumstances dictate
> different responses.

I am actually going to post this one to the list because I have virtually no
background in computer science but I am a technical writer. I have no
background in advanced grammer for that matter. My background includes a
Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics and years of experience as a
waiter. IMHO, this does not make me a poor writer.

Maybe its just me, but the requirements that I see one needing are the ability
to read, the ability to ask questions, and the ability to think rationally. If
all the abilities exist in the person who wants the position then they will be
able to learn all aspects necessary to perform the duties required.

The reason for my thinking stems from the fact that I write about numerous
different topics in my position. Working at a telecommunications company as a
technical writer menas writing about everything that you can possiby think of
(almost). We are responsible for all corporate policies, procedures, and
practices that must be followed. This vast array of topics does not allow for
one to have a great technical background.

Your question would be better asked to see if there is an optimum mix of writing
skills and desire to learn. This would allow for a wider response field than
only asking about computer knowledge.

These are just my thoughts, a minority of one so to speak, and I felt that they
needed to be voiced this time. Please remember that there are more than just
technical writers for computer companies on this list.

Thanks for your time,

> James Inman

paul -dot- strandlund -at- sasktel -dot- sk -dot- ca

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