Programming Skills and the Technical Writer

Subject: Programming Skills and the Technical Writer
From: kharris -at- CTEXT -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 10:08:36 -0400

>What level of programming knowledge is required of you in your work ?
>For example, are you required to be able to read blocks of code and
>explain what it is doing, and/or do you write code samples for use as
There isn't a particular level of programming knowledge REQUIRED in my
job. Rather, I've
developed these skills mainly on my own, because I know it makes me
more marketable.
It has helped me *immensely*, however, in understanding what's going
on "behind the scenes,"
threby making explanation much easier. I think _some_ degree of
technical knowledge
should be required to truly understand what you're writing.

>If you've recently learned a programming language, have you been able to
>learn effectively and apply what you've learned from books of the "Learn
>[whatever] in 21 Days" variety? What other means have you used to learn

I've developed most of my skill in this area by taking apart code and
looking at it, along with
one of those "Blah Blah for Beginners" books. Once you understand the
basic principles,
it all sort of falls into place in terms of how things work together.

>What is more important to spend your time on-- developing and refining
>programming skills, or other technical writing skills, such as using
>document production software and writing and editing ?

Well, I'm sure the answer *should* be developing my writing skills,
etc. I would, however, like to develop and refine my programming
skills further. Another avenue I'm exploring is electronic
documentation, which to me is VERY interesting and does
involve use of my technical knowledge.

Kelly Barkley Harris
Senior Documentation Specialist
CText, Inc.

My opinions are mine,blah blah blah.......

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