Slow or not?

Subject: Slow or not?
From: Geoffrey Hart <Geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 15:06:29 -0500

An anonymous poster is <<...writing a manual to accompany
a piece of software. This is the first time I've done software
documentation style writing... The writing process though,
feels very slow! The more I write, the more I realize needs
written explanation. Is this a common feeling among novice
software manual writers?>>

It's certainly common for me. The more I work with the
product I'm documenting, the better I understand it and the
more things I realize a neophyte won't understand without
doing the same exploration I'm doing. Since we can't, in all
fairness, require our audience to do this exploratory work, it's
our responsibility to do it for them... and document the
results. Think of it as being the person who breaks in a piece
of equipment so that it functions smoothly for all subsequent
users: you do the hard work so they won't have to.

<<Will I always feel "slow"? Do I need to get "faster" to
survive in this field?>>

Maybe, and yes. <g> You _will_ get faster at writing certain
types of solutions as you get more experience simply because
once you've solved a particular problem, you won't have to re-
solve it again each time you confront it (or at least you won't
quite so often). You probably won't ever feel like a super
whiz if you find yourself changing projects often because
each project usually introduces a new wrinkle you haven't yet
faced. Whether you need to get faster depends on your job;
the trend seems to be techwhirlers doing more with less, and
that suggests that the more efficient you can become, the
happier you'll be and the more likely to meet unreasonable
deadlines.


--Geoff Hart @8^{)} Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Patience comes to those who wait."--Anon.


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=



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