Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: Karen Kay <karen -at- WORDWRITE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 08:56:04 -0700

Candace Bamber said:
> All the really good writers I've worked with in my career had in common
> three characteristics - they knew the techcomm side of the business inside
> out, they were intensely curious about everything, and they could put
> together really good docs about whatever business or technology they
> happened to be hired to write about that day.

Thank you. My blood pressure is beginning to come down a little...

> The thing that worries me about our profession isn't the prevalence of the
> "non-technical" - it's that our education systems are still focusing on
> knowledge as an end in itself, in a time when knowledge changes all the
> time. I would like to see a move to using knowledge (information) as a
> means of teaching the discipline/art of Thought instead.

When I interview and I'm asked about my strengths, I say that my
greatest strength is my ability to synthesize information. This is
something that I find sorely lacking in engineers; many of them are
remarkably limited in their thought processes. They think in pictures,
but they don't think in metaphors. I'm much more concerned about
engineering education than liberal arts education. There is a huge
difference between technical knowledge and technical ability, and
frankly, I see that engineering education stresses the former and
neglects the latter.

karen -at- wordwrite -dot- com

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