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Subject:RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers? From:"Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Fri, 17 Dec 99 11:46:31 -0500
I would add:
Basic understanding of the principles of presentation of information in a variety of media (in other words, how to design a PowerPoint presentation, how to design various kinds of print documents, how to organize and design a website). By this I do not mean that one must master a particular set of tools, only that one should have the principles firmly in mind.
Demonstrated ability in SOME set of tools, including the ability to read a manual and figure out how to use an unfamiliar feature or tweak the settings on familiar features.
Willingness and ability to learn new tools, paradigms, and protocols quickly.
Willingness and ability to absorb complex information in geekspeak and regurgitate it in English or another object language.
Ability to write clear expository prose in general, without regard to writing software user manuals. (There is a lot of technical writing that does not involve user manuals.)
>Here's the first few ideas off the top of my head:
An ability to take information about functionality and write task
Understanding of "chunking" of information
Interest in user analysis and ability to apply knowledge of audience to
creating appropriate documentation
Ability to write clearly and accurately
Attention to detail