Fw: Is Java a good class to take for technical writing?

Subject: Fw: Is Java a good class to take for technical writing?
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 07:50:15 -0500

I've learned some Java and VB just because of my job, but then I'm a
full-time communicator and technical manager.

I think tech commers should learn as much technology as they can. It helps
them communicate better with SMEs, who by and large have little respect for
non-coders. Most SMEs appeciate it if you can speak their language. It also
helps the writer work better with programmers when the need arises for tight
integration of help files. And most of the really good tech commers I've
known were insatiably curious and wouldn't shrink from a good learning
challenge. I know the argument for just documenting the user interface, but
I find too many tech commers want to write about the interface, but not
understand what puts it there. I think it makes them unbalanced, and one of
the hallmarks of our job is to achieve good balance for the end user's sake.
I find it somewhat hard to believe that a tech commer who didn't love
technology could be maximally effective.

Most applications today are being written for Windows, so a visual language
can't hurt. VB is popular. So is Visual C++. Java is, in my view, good for
learning the basics of object programming, but it still hasn't hit my radar
screen as a popular development language.

Still, you have limited time. What do you WANT to do?

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
317.562.9298
http://www.simplywritten.com









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