Writing Test?

Subject: Writing Test?
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: Mpschiesl -at- ra -dot- rockwell -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 07:01:53 PST

Tony Markatos says:

The problem with writing tests is that they are based on the assumption that the major task of a Technical Writer is the drafting of text. Nonsense. The major tasks of TW are properly performing analysis (of tasks, end user, and environment) and then - based upon this analysis - properly organizing the material for high usability.

Oh sure, there would be some analysis and organization involved in a test; however, the skills required to perform a larger scale analysis/organization are entirely different than those involved in performing an hour-or-so analysis/orgainzation.

For example, the major skill required to perform a larger scale analysis/organization is the ability to "switch mental gears" from performing (often heavy) analysis work, to becoming a "lean-mean-people-oriented-machine". There is NO way to even begin to determine this during an hour-or-so test.

The idea of testing TWs is but another unfortunate example of what happens when we loose are proper focus. Oh well, back to basics.

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