Re: Techie First or Writer?

Subject: Re: Techie First or Writer?
From: Maurice Rose <rose -at- ITLS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 15:40:07 -0500

> |> Th e skills/tools debate is a real issue. At our October Toronto STC
> |> meeting, two employer/clients presented what they look for when they hire
> |> technical communicators.

> I find it incredible that, for a writing position, an employer would
> leave 'writing' off of the list of job requirements. Kind of like asking
> a surgeon if she could interpret CAT scans, but not asking if she could
> unclog an artery without killing the patient. Sort of.

As it happens, the theme of this employer's presentation was shifting
paradigms in the world of technical communications. He is looking for
Information Developers to produce Learning Products, not Technical
Writers to produce Customer Documentation. He feels that today's
young people learn more by watching and trying than by
reading. He talked about how his department had grown from focusing
solely on written documents to having an expanded range of concerns
that includes multimedia authoring, computer based training,
instructional design, product usability, and web development.

I think he assumed that his audience of technical writers
already knew how to write, and was listing additional skills they
would be needing more and more in the next few years.

Maurice Rose

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