Do techies really know what other techies need?

Subject: Do techies really know what other techies need?
From: "M. Dannenberg" <midannen -at- SI -dot- BOSCH -dot- DE>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:05:12 +0100

Sella Rush wrote:

> My problem is that the programmer I work most closely with despises all
> my tries at making text more accessible. (I really don't think it's all
> my problem because he's the only one that complains--but he's the
> important one). His stock response is "they're programmers, they'll
> understand what I'm saying." He also hates anything that might sound
> like a sell--and simpler language sounds like a sell to him

Tell that to the marketing manager, he should be at the guy's throat in
a second.
This guy is negatively affecting the product's usability, image and - in
the longer
term - sales. That's the kind of language management understands (if you
keep it simnple
enough ;-) so I would let them deal with the guy.

> But I'm sick and tired of having all my
> suggestions discounted because he's a techie and knows what techies want
> and what they don't want is a lot of clear writing that might insult
> their intelligence.

I find that a lot of the time overcomplicated language is used as a
hiding the basic inadequateness of the document. In those cases you can
usually prove
that the required information is just not there, i.e. the programmer is
completely unwarranted assumptions about the reader's knowledge - which
has nothing
to do with their level of expertise.

Good Luck,


Mike Dannenberg
midannen -at- si -dot- bosch -dot- de

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