Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: Guy McDonald <guym -at- DAKA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 1995 10:55:51 -0800

Some of John Bell's comments on rubber stamping Technical Writers prompted
a quick comment written below.

John wrote (edited)......

"I favor certification if it can properly identify those who have attained
a basic level of writing skills. I need to know if a writer can:

- spell (I've met a few who rely on spell checkers!)
- use proper grammer
- organize thoughts logically
- write task oriented procedures
- research (knowing what questions to ask is important)

There is probably more to add to this list, but it hasn't popped into my
head just yet."

--- John Bell
Documentation Manager, TELE-TV
jbell -at- tele-tv -dot- com

Yes John, there is more to add to your "list". I was quite surprised that
you forgot what I consider a very important item we all should possess....
experience. Your "list" looks like a good entry level measuring stick for
editors, NOT writers. What ever happened to depth of experience in a
writers inventory? How can a writer perform as you say "research (knowing
what questions to ask is important)" without some level of technical
knowledge (including a strong background in his/her field of discipline?

Borrowing from another topic (Resume), there are various levels of
experience & education you as a manager examine during the hire/fire
decision making process . The term "hybrid writer" was coined in the
Resume topic thread, and I like it. Paraphrasing from the original message
that used this term, a "hybrid writer" is one who possesses writing skills
& experience working in the field (or one closely related) to the material
being written.

My personal opinion is that certification will be another useless waste of
paper, therefore add my name to the opposition.

Guy McDonald
guym -at- daka -dot- com

>>"There is one thing that God did not create, and that is a substitute for
EXPERIENCE" (An old Irish Proverb, posted by me once again for those who
missed it the first time)

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