Re: Tech-writing

Subject: Re: Tech-writing
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 10:23:41 -0700

Renee Cornelisen wonders...

> The digest of July 26, 1995 included a post regarding a job for a senior
> tech-writer at Novell, in Utah. It required knowledge of C and the ability
> to read and understand source code. Is that something tech-writers do?

Sometimes. I very often edited Smalltalk code in my last position
because I was documenting a development system. Once in a while I
had to deal with C, but not often.

In my current position, I'm not documenting a programming language
so I don't get all that involved with code. But I still go into
the program resource editor to grab screenshots long before they're
actually implemented in the program, edit error messages and on-screen
text, and fiddle with the graphics.

If you document software, it never hurts to understand the mechanics
of programming, even if you never touch a line of code. Back in 1984,
I didn't get an $18/hour job documenting an in-house application at
the 20th Century Fox studios in LA just because the developer couldn't
imagine anyone being able to doc a program if they didn't know the
programming language. I was determined that nobody *ever* use that
excuse not to hire me again. ;-) -- Now they think up lots of other
excuses, but not because I don't know the programming language! ;-)

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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