Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: "Megan E. McMacken" <megan -dot- mcmacken -at- FANUCROBOTICS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 08:35:33 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thursday, May 07, 1998 4:17 AM
Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

>I agree totally that inquisitiveness, ability to learn etc is VERY
>important but I feel that a good BASIC knowledge of a topic is essential to
>documenting anything. I've never worked on a job where there was the time
>luxury to learn everything from scratch. It CAN be done but is isn't easy
>and, as I've said, there usually isn't the time.

So where do we learn this basic knowledge? There isn't enough time in
college to gain a basic knowledge of every topic we might possibly end up
documenting after we start our careers. And if most businesses prefer their
new hires to have a basic knowledge from day one, it looks like it's up to
us to teach ourselves this basic knowledge in our "spare" time, if we can
figure out what basic knowledge we're supposed to have.

I enjoy learning and teaching myself new things (I was home schooled for
nine years and learned how to learn without someone holding my hand), but
I'm not so infatuated with my career that I'm ready to spend all of my
waking moments doing and learning technical things. Right now I'm learning
as I go. When I run into something on the job that I don't understand, I
either ask someone who knows or I grab a book or two and study it myself.

When I started working at my current company, I knew nothing about robots or
controllers or I/O boards, but this isn't stuff most people learn in college
anyway. The only way for me to gain even a basic knowledge was to have
someone here take me down on the floor and explain things to me. I still
can't name a robot model just by glancing at a robot, but at least now I
understand how the robots work and how to program them and how to set up and
monitor I/O or teach a frame.


Megan E. McMacken
megan -dot- mcmacken -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com

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