Re: New slant: professionalism

Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism
From: Dick Margulis <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 10:34:56 -0400

Bergen, Jane wrote:
>
> This whole thread is very interesting but unless I've missed it, one
> aspect has not been discussed and that is whether we are enhancing the
> professional aspect of technical communication in the workplace, or if
> we are part of the problem.
>
> As a fairly long-time active member of STC, I have had occasion to meet
> and talk with many people who call themselves technical writers. Believe
> me, I would not agree with their assessment of the terms. I see lots of
> people who "fell into" their jobs with no technical communication
> training.


[--big snip--]


On more than one job I have spent anywhere from a few weeks to several
months (varying by individual) overcoming some developer's reluctance to
cooperate with _any_ tech writer, based on that person's previous
exposure to "people who call themselves technical writers."

We need to educate our customers, including recruiters, HR departments,
project managers, and developers, about what qualifications they should
be looking for when they set about hiring a writer. Otherwise, they will
continue to hire writers who have no understanding of technology and
technicians who have know concept of how to communicate what they know,
and they will continue to find themselves dissatisfied with the whole
process. That makes it significantly harder for those of us who do know
how to do the job to secure the SME cooperation we need.

Just my .02

Dick




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