Re: Knowing prog. lang. +s to a TW's $?

Subject: Re: Knowing prog. lang. +s to a TW's $?
From: Cynthia Libby <cynthia -at- TRUMP -dot- ITG -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 12:20:52 -0600

David Castro asked:
> Does knowing a programming language add to a technical writer's value?

Although I don't think that knowing a specific language is crucial, having
experience with several and knowing the operating system/application is

I have experience with Digital Equipment's VMS operating system and find that
it is invaluable for knowing when the filename or command syntax is invalid.
I can login to the system and verify the existence of commands and
files without having to rely on reviewers. When you are reviewing a document
it is not always easy to notice that a space or colon are missing. If you are
a user relying on the information to get the software installed, these errors
can cause great frustration.

I am amazed when I hear writers say they wrote documentation for an
application and have never used the application. It takes time during
the design phase to learn the application, but it greatly reduces the effort
during construction and review.

Cynthia Libby

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