Re: technical background

Subject: Re: technical background
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 15:18:48 -0400

Stacey Kahn wrote:


>When we discuss the technical background a TW needs or doesn't need, what
>specifically are we talking about? Knowing how to document, say,
>computer-related stuff? software? application software? Database applications?
>Personnel databases? Or knowing how to develop/program [which one]? Or knowing
>how [which one] is designed, conceptually? Or having power-used a wide variety
>of [which one]?... Or what? How specific? How technical?

What about non-computer-related technical expertise? I write refinery
operating, startup, shutdown, and safety manuals, among other things.

I happen to be a chemical engineer, and that's why my client hired me. _I_
don't think I need my engineering experience to write the material well, but
_he_ thinks I do. As technical communicators, we must fight this battle

I feel my expertise as a writer shows in my ability to analyze the audience
so I know what information is required; to interview engineers and
programmers to get the information; to structure the information so it is
most useful to the audience; and finally, to present the information in the
best possible way.

I _am_ an expert technical communicator (well, at least I'm getting there!
;>}). With that list of technical communicating skills, I should be able to
write about almost anything for almost any audience.

Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com

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