Re: Trends for Technical Communicators?

Subject: Re: Trends for Technical Communicators?
From: Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 21:49:00 PST

On Monday, March 04, 1996 6:22 PM, Richard Mateosian wrote:
>...snipped...
>Often, most of what we learn on a job is inapplicable to any future job.
We
>grow in that hard-to-measure quality called technical maturity, but it
>doesn't make job interviews much easier.

I think the core skills of a technical writer (curiosity, researching,
organization, writing, designing) are applicable in any job -- regardless
of the product being documented or the medium in which that documentation
is being produced.

Our curiosity and research skills can be applied to learn about any
product we are asked to document. If we aren't curious, if we don't know
how to research a product, we have no business being technical writers.

Our organization, writing, and design skills can be used in any medium.
The medium itself can be learned -- and usually pretty easily. Most of
us learned how to use a word processor. Most of us learned how to use
DTP. Likewise, we can learn to use HTML, SGML, or any other tool the
techies throw at us as the "cutting edge" medium.

The core skills are, well, the core of our trade. The rest are simply
flourishes we can learn. While it doesn't hurt to know all these hot
media, our real chore is to sell our core skills and our ability to
learn.


Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com


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