Re: Can you eliminate testing?

Subject: Re: Can you eliminate testing?
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- LTS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 09:27:32 -0800

Tim Altom wrote:

> A truly experienced techdoc'er
> ought to be able to tell pretty quickly if someone can write without having
> them spend 5 hours in a test. In my experience, like knows like.

I agree. At Los Trancos Systems we've never given writing tests either
- we can tell far, far more from writing samples and interviews. Our
major concern is (a) that people be able to write well (a good selection
of samples, supplemented by interview questions, will demonstrate that),
(b) that people be able to learn independently and from a variety of
sources (discovered during the interview), and (c) that people be able
to work as part of a team (some friendly interview techniques tend to
unearth that).

We tend to qualify "senior" writers as those who understand the process
and have survived the events from which war stories are derived. Most
senior writers, in our experience, have found ways around difficult
SMEs, managers, political situations, etc., and have a healthy, balanced
sense of their own strength and weaknesses. Relatively junior writers,
on the other hand, tend to be too protective of their work, and more
interested in proving that they were right about this or that.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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