Re: Do techies really know what other techies need?

Subject: Re: Do techies really know what other techies need?
From: John Kohl <sasjqk -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 20:40:06 GMT

In article <c=US%a=_%p=ATS%l=WWW-970320213056Z-45 -at- www -dot- apptechsys -dot- com>, Sella
Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM> writes:
|> I have this problem...
|>
|> Most of my work involves writing technical stuff--manuals, informational
|> brochures, tech overviews--for technical people (our product is a
|> database engine that programmers use to create applications from). I've
|> gotten a good response from my attempts to translate complex material,
|> but I *do* tend to tone things down a bit. After all, no matter how
|> expert a person is, they will always prefer to read (i.e., actually will
|> read) something that is clearly written and doesn't make them have to
|> decipher what it is we're trying to tell them.
|>
|> My problem is that the programmer I work most closely with despises all
|> my tries at making text more accessible.

Have you considered the possibility that the programmer really doesn't
know his stuff, and your questions "put him on the spot"? I have often
found that the programmers who are least cooperative don't really
understand the part of the software that they're supposed to be
supporting--e.g., if someone else did the original development. They
only know/understand the tiny little parts that they themselves have
been intimately involved with. They give you vague, ambiguous,
impenetrable information because they don't really understand it
themselves! And they do not want to be bothered researching the answers
to your questions.

This does not solve your problem, but it might help you understand it
better.

John Kohl

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