Re: Peace, love, and techwriting

Subject: Re: Peace, love, and techwriting
From: Sue Ellen Adkins <sea -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 11:18:52 -0700

Stuart Burnfield wrote:
>It's hard, but you can try to teach your engineers what manuals are for.
>Ask Joe Engineer who his users are. Do all the users know everything Joe
>does? If so, perhaps Joe could write a good manual. (Personally, I doubt
>it, but I'd concede the point and move on.) If they don't know everything
>Joe knows, they will need to have some questions answered before they can
>grasp what they're being told. Your job is to ask those questions on the
>users' behalf.

When I heard several programmers complaining about how long it took
them to find answers in the software manual they were trying to use,
I grabbed the opportunity to talk with them about the importance of
technical writers. Life isn't perfect, but more of my questions are
getting the response, "I hadn't thought of that."

I've also assumed the attitude that I've missed something because
the software can't POSSIBLY work this way. For example, one database
application allowed the user to select CURRENT RECORD or ALL RECORDS
BUT CURRENT but didn't allow the user to select all records.

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