Re: Should Tech Writers learn Java

Subject: Re: Should Tech Writers learn Java
From: Carl Millholland <millholland -at- ACRONET -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 18:40:01 -0600

Karen Felker writes:

> I'd like to know if anyone out there with no prior programming experience has
> tried to learn Java. With all the WWW hoohah I've been hearing lately, I'm
> wondering if it's something to add to my skills list. Is there a demand for
> tech writers with Java? Would the investment of time and aching brain cells
> pay off in the short run?

First, there's a lot of "WWW hoohah" short of writing Java code. I would
approach and project requiring Java programming much the same as a
standalone electronic publication, developing training cards, for
example. Assuming you are using Java to produce something in the the
technical writing arena, have a technical writer design the project and
develop the text and graphics, and have a programmer do the coding to
create the delivery of that content.

If you're jumping into learning a programming language, in Java you're
jumping into two skill areas at once: Java itself and object-oriented
programming. I'm not saying it can't be done, but anyone investing that
amount of time might want to rethink his or her career path. As has been
echoed a few times in this thread, it's one thing to "know" code, and
quite another to write it professionally.

Now, as for adding Web skills your skill set, much more relevant--and
easier--is learning JavaScript. Unlike a Java applet, which must be
self-contained, debugged, fully functioning, and all that, learning even
a few JavaScript routines--posting a Secondary Help-type window from a
Web page, or creating a checklist of items from which a Web page user
can choose--will also extend your skill set. (This assumes that you have
or will add HTML skills in the mix.) You can build this skill set at
your own pace, or in according to the complexity you decide to put into
your design. Since you will be creating and implementing
programming-type functions, JavaScript requires learning
programming-type skills, but they can be digested in much more managable
bites than Java.

One last thing: Go Pack!

Carl Millholland
Technical Publishing Services
11400 47th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53142
(414) 697-9948

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Checking the checkers through inaccurate information
Next by Author: Program Question
Previous by Thread: Re: Experience with Information Mapping
Next by Thread: PageMaker printing problems

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads