Re: SACRED COWS

Subject: Re: SACRED COWS
From: Roger Sanders <roger -at- PILS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 11:01:08 -0500

OK maybe it is easier to learn to write than to learn to program.

What you're leaving out is that programmers who write may find it very difficult
to look at a software package and see it from the eyes of someone who is not a
programmer. Software manuals/help are often the translator from Technospeak to
Knumbskullspeak, you know. Having someone on the team who is not a software
specialist is an advantage in that they can have the insights of someone who is
not buried up to their eyeballs in code.

Just my opinion...

Roger

-----Original Message-----
From: PC:Maenad -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 1998 9:44 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU; SANDERS/R
Subject: Re: SACRED COWS

John Gilger wrote:

> Hi Everybody!
>
> Since my last comments regarding writing samples stirred up so much
> comment,
> let's shoot at another sacred cow.
>
> It is easier to teach an engineer to write than it is to teach a
> "writer" or
> "technical communicator" to understand and explain engineering
> principles
> and technology.
>
> I have worked with both, as peers and subordinates, and the engineers
> are
> more productive every time. Of course, I write documentation for high
> tech
> engineering projects, so the view is admittedly biased.
>
> If you want to be a good, well-paid, tech writer, get a BSEE or BSCS
> then
> get the hell away from those ivory towers.
>
> Fire off that email, this ought to be an interesting discussion.
>
> John Gilger
>
> "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach
> stick
> around for a Ph. D."
>

WOW! You are certainly the inflammatory one! ;-> I am afraid I have to
agree with you. It _IS_ easier to learn to write than to "catch-up" on
engineering/computer/technical theory. Okay, notice I expand your
original thought to include non-engineering technical disciplines. Any
field of study that deals with technology, be it engineering, computer
science, or programming (etc...) forges the mind in ways that a non-tech
individual rarely understands.

An argument could be made that any "engineer" who can write probably
uses the wrong side of his/her brain, hence they are not true engineers,
merely very smart liberal arts majors!

Enough flame bait for one email. BTW I teach as well as write and do
"techie" stuff--explain that one.

Geoff

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