Re: technical background

Subject: Re: technical background
From: Barry Thistlethwaite <bthis -at- NEOSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 02:24:21 GMT

In article <43kc0o$1i3i -at- firehose -dot- mindspring -dot- com>, quinones -at- mindspring -dot- com
(Cathy Quinones) wrote:

> In message <9509181809 -dot- AA4372 -at- notes -dot- credtech -dot- com> - Steve
Jong/Lightbridge <Ste
> ve_Jong/Lightbridge*LIGHTBRIDGE -at- notes -dot- credtech -dot- com> writes:

> (statement plucked totally out of context :)

> :>Given the choice, I would prefer a job candidate with experience in
the field,
> :>and so would any employer. I think that's normal and reasonable.

> I agree, if one could have an expert on the topic AND an excellent writer in
> the gamble, why would one want to hire anyone else?

[snip, snip]

> ...The tech writer usually has a single mission: give the audience a
> document that presents the info the audience needs, in terms the audience can
> understand.

Yes, and the mission also often includes the need to make the information
both interesting and efficient enough to entice the reader to use it.
Witness the many third party manuals for major software. They provide
about the same information, but in a way that is more accessible,
interesting or clear than the official manual.

[snip, snip]

> HOWEVER, the investigative tricks used by a
> software doc writer and a medical writer are going to have many common
> elements, elements which those individuals can use to tackle a new subject
> matter whether it is familiar, vaguely familiar, or totally alien. That's
> why they, as professional writers, are a better choice than just a good old
> "expert" that has knowledge but no writing experience.

Exactly. Again, to use the example of software documentation: many
companies require software programmers, as part of their duties, to write
the documentation. The result may be precise, but fail to meet the
usability needs of the user.
| Barry Thistlethwaite | Man's mind stretched to a new idea, |
| Tech Writer for Hire | never goes back to its original shape. |
| bthis -at- neosoft -dot- com | --Oliver Wendell Holmes |

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