Tech Writing Skills

Subject: Tech Writing Skills
From: Bob Handlin 1331 <BHandlin -at- CHIPCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 1995 10:38:00 PST

>On Mon, 30 Jan 1995, Timothy Schablin wrote:

>> I'd prefer the writing skills (and creativity) over technical expertise.
>> but that could depend on the type of project.

Rosie Crowe responded:

>..I cannot find much use for a writer without a love for
>and an aptitude with technology. A writer who is a technophobe
>is handicapped in the field of tech writing, and these writers
>drag down the field as much as do the technical-apt-but-unschooled-
>in-writing writers...

AMEN!! Writers who hang their professional hats solely on the fact that
they have outstanding writing skills are a discredit to those of us who work
hard to have the entire package.

Simple truth: This profession, done well, requires a broader range of
skills than almost any other I can think of. If you're a tekkie who can't
write, or a writer who can't "tech," please don't argue that the employers
are wrong-headed in their approach. Go out and get the skills that they're
asking for!!! That way, when I inherit one of your projects, I won't have
to spend the first two months convincing the project team that I am, in
fact, willing to learn how the product works (or worse, spend two months
implementing an intense structure edit, as a direct result of someone else's
poor writing).

As arrogant as that may sound to some, I think it's the key to us getting
the professional respect we've all been longing for. As it stands, we do a
job that's more difficult than software development (IMHO) and get paid a
lot less.


bhandlin -at- chipcom -dot- com

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