Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: DURL <durl -at- BUFFNET -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 12:17:10 -0400

Once again, I think the issue is who you're writing for and what
you're writing. My BA's in English (Milton's a dead poet) and my MA's in
"Humanities," an ad-hoc program that enabled me to put together writing
and communication (as in Communication, the social science).

My science training is limited to high school and my own reading
and experience (work). I worked with an Industrial Engineering consulting
outfit for years as an analyst. My computer training is a mish-mash of
COBOL, JCL, and early "this is a computer" stuff (including Wang word
processors!!). My software skills are a
mish-mash of DOS, Mac, and Windows programs.

I've written about dynamometer controllers, water treatment
, manufacturing equipment, and gun trajectories. Where I've been able to
be the most successful (the document does what it was supposed to do) is
when I've enabled the client to tell me what the document is supposed to
and when I've had a chance to talk to at least a couple of users.

From there, I can construct the contents and develop an approach.
I disclaim responsibility for the technical accuracy. Instead, I rely
on the technical expertise of my SME to ensure that, if you plug A to
B, it won't blow up. My job is to tell you how to plug A to B.

BTW, I agree that curiosity and interest in technical stuff is
what makes this fun!


Mary Durlak Erie Documentation Inc.
East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo)
durl -at- buffnet -dot- net

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