Re: Tech Writers who don't like technology

Subject: Re: Tech Writers who don't like technology
From: Beth Agnew <bagnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 10:24:37 -0400

Yikes! What a thing to hit me with on Monday morning! I really have to take
strong exception to this statement by Rene Gedaly [rgedaly -at- EMAIL -dot- MSN -dot- COM]:

> What surprises me most about the non-technical tech writers I've met is
> they don't seem interested in the scientific world, they don't want to be
> bothered learning new technology aside from their own communication tools,
> and they're even ignorant of the scientific method. I've yet to meet
> writer who reads or subscribes to Science News, Scientific American, or
> any(!) technical journal as either a way to keep up in the industry or for
> sheer pleasure. I really hope this is because I don't get out much.

Now that I've wiped off the spit orange juice that got sprayed all over my
keyboard when I read that, let me say that I'm a technical writer (and a
damn good one, BTW) with a degree in _Fine Arts_ who LOVES science and
technology! I'd be in the wrong blinking profession otherwise. If you don't
love it enough to learn about it, you CANNOT write about it with authority.
I have written compelling articles, scripts, and documentation about pond
scum, as well as geoscience, biology, immunology, virology, and a whole slew
of other stuff that is certainly "hard science" as well as deep technology.

Yet I would certainly describe myself as a non-technical technical writer.

I'll forgive you the gross generalization Rene, because maybe the writers
you've talked to *have* been ignorant of the wonders of science and
technology. Too bad, their careers will suffer for it, and it makes the job
that much harder for the rest of us who have to prove to clients that
non-technical writers can do a credible job of writing about technology.
Fortunately, my breadth of work speaks for itself.

Beth Agnew
Senior Technical Writer, InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419
mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at:

See my friendly face at:

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