Re: [Long Response] Teaching...

Subject: Re: [Long Response] Teaching...
From: Guy Oliver <guy -at- DEV -dot- TIVOLI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 09:48:28 CDT

From Bill:

> Statement One --

> Without Engineers and (today) Programmers, there would be no work for
> Tech Writers.


Probably.

> Statement Two --

> Without Tech Writers, there would still be plenty of work for both
> Engineers and Programmers.


Maybe.

In our recent history, both engineers and programmers have used
technological advances to make sophisticated products available to the
common man. Automobiles, microwave ovens, televisions, VCRs,
computers, and video cameras, are available to most people in
industrialized nations.

Although the success of these products is probably related to the low
cost of production, I suspect consumers would be much happier with them
if consumers understood them better. One possible solution to the
problem of such consumer frustration is to ensure that each product is
well documented.

Compounding the problem of consumer frustration, is the fact that many
of the technological advancements today are best applied to tools that
help engineers, programmers, and technologists to develop other
products. For example, consider the difficulty associated with
learning to use a developer's toolkit containing several different
compilers. In this example, a programmer is using programs to write
other programs.

If such a toolkit is poorly documented, it is probably useless and the
programmers who developed it might be out of work. If there is a real
need for the toolkit, the programmers who need it might not be able to
produce their products quickly enough to meet market demands. In that
case, they too could conceivably be out of work.

My point is this: technical writers certainly need programmers and
engineers so that we have something to document, but engineers and
programmers are also beginning to rely on technical writers as well.
Furthermore, as time passes, they will become even more dependent on us
for the succss of their products.


Guy Oliver
Technical Writer
Tivoli Systems

guy -dot- oliver -at- tivoli -dot- com


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