Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: Hulda Hime <hulda -at- WW-WEB -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 09:35:38 -0700

I just wanted to make a quick observation about Rowena's comment re:
programmers/engineers who gained their knowledge via effort and not within
an institution of education. My experience with programmers who learned
their skill "on the job" has been far more positive than those who went to
college. They have been far more willing to spend time explaining and
assisting those with less knowledge. Basically, they haven't forgotten
where they came from. If I had to choose between two equally skilled
programmers, I'd take the one without a college education any day.

On the other hand, I have had experience with writers who had little or no
college background and I found them lacking in the ability to adapt to
different environments, change, and some basic human interaction skills. I
think such skills are more important for writers to have than
programmers/engineers. Basically, I don't care about what degree someone
has or even if they have a degree. However, when hiring a writer, I do
need to see that they have had some basic college and have developed some
communication skills.

Just my opinion!

-- Hulda R. Hime --
hulda -at- ww-web -dot- com

> From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- INTRINSYC -dot- COM>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
> Date: Wednesday, May 06, 1998 9:25 AM
> You all might be interested in a very illuminating conversation I has
> one of our lead programmers this morning about the value/devaluation of
> learning on the job.
> As a programmer, he's a bit of an outlaw because he never attended a
> university or college. He learned by working as an apprentice for
> programmers" at a variety of businesses. These master programmers
> graciously took the time to pass on their knowledge to him. Within five
> years he became so highly skilled as a programmer that he is now
> as a "senior" programmer, and is himself passing on his knowledge to
> "junior" programmers.
> This is, of course, the apprentice / journeyman / master system of
> training that has been (and is still) used by every culture in the world
> pass on specialized skills or knowledge to those people who are willing
> learn.
> However, in modern industrial times this practice has fallen out of
> I don't know why, but for some reason we have devalued "on the job"
> learning. People who learn on the job put in as many years learning
> craft as us numbskulls who get a degree, but I'd vote that they're more
> valuable as employees because they've learned their skills in the context
> solving a real-world problem.
> Of course, your "on the job" education is going to directly reflect how
> effort your master(s) put into teaching you.
> I'm definitely learning a lot from my co-worker, because he understands
> value of mentorship. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same thing for
> another technical writer (or programmer) someday.
> Cheers,
> Rowena
> ---------------------
> Rowena Hart
> Technical Writer
> Intrinsyc Software, Inc.

Previous by Author: Translating RE: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer
Next by Author: JOB: Tech Writer, White Plains, New York (near New York City)
Previous by Thread: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
Next by Thread: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads