Re: writer or technical expert?

Subject: Re: writer or technical expert?
From: Beth Agnew <bagnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 10:13:53 -0400

On Tuesday, October 14, 1997 9:20 AM, Katherin King
[SMTP:kking -at- BROOKTROUT -dot- COM] wrote:
> This is in reference to the insurance company that was more concerned
> whether a "writer" understood insurance stuff than whether he or she
> actually write. I have found that it's far better to hire someone who can
> write and is capable of learning the company-specific stuff than it is to
> hire someone with expertise in the "stuff" but who can't write. That's
how I
> got my job with a high-tech computer telephony company. I knew absolutely
> nothing about the technology, but boy, could I write! I learned the
> technology, and I recently got an award for being able to clarify complex
> technical issues.

Just to clarify, the insurance company was looking for a "document
specialist" -- someone with insurance industry knowledge who would then
learn to create specialized, coded (a programming background would be an
asset for this) documents, in the language and format peculiar to the
insurance industry, that would then be generated into complex policies,
contracts and so on. Writing ability is not required for this. In fact, I'd
think it would drive a writer crazy to have to construct text the way the
insurance industry requires. The term "document specialist" as used by the
insurance industry is very misleading.


Beth Agnew
Senior Technical Writer, InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419
mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at:

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