Re: Pencil Test for Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Pencil Test for Technical Writers
From: Brad Connatser <concom -at- USIT -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 15:25:19 +0000

In article <4uiu3d$34a -at- nntp1 -dot- best -dot- com>, randy -dot- grandle -at- corp -dot- sun -dot- com (Randy
Grandle) wrote:

> Michael Wing <mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> >With all the discussion on certification, qualifications, correct
> >language usage, and technical aptitude, and so forth, I am wondering if
> >maybe a simple pencil test would help in choosing a candidate for a
> >Technical Writing position. Because contact time with development and
> >other resources is restricted and because the information for the
> >product/service for which they are writing is incomplete and transitory,
> >the position requires a writer who is an innovative thinker. By
> >innovative, I mean that they must fill in the information gaps by
> >extrapolating from the information at hand, see past the black-and-white
> >and describe variations in the product/service, visualize the
> >product/service in terms of its application(s) and not just its
> >step-by-step functioning, and so forth.


> Moreover, the assumption that the only good candidates are those who are
> on their feet and can innovative is questionable. The race is not always to
> the swift. Some of us like to spend time researching, thinking things though,
> and actually planning our work (and we also meet deadlines).

> Productive and effective writing is not done "by-the-seat-of the-pants" and
> "on-the-fly." Productive and effective writing involves a quality
process. You
> cannot bypass the information gathering and planning stage of a good
> writing process and expect good writers to deliver a quality product.

How about a take-home test?

Brad Connatser
Concurrent Communications
concom -at- usit -dot- net

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