Re: Basic skillset for techwhirlers?

Subject: Re: Basic skillset for techwhirlers?
From: Sandy Harris <sharris -at- dkl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 12:28:04 -0500

Geoff Hart wrote:
> Will Grega is <<...I am attempting to articulate the definitive
> baseline set of skills a technical writer should have, apart from
> anything industry-specific.>>

And Geoff proposes five:

> - The ability to write ...
> - The ability to understand complex material ...
> - An understanding of ...
> - The ability to research ...
> - The ability to learn ... tools ...
> Lots of other good stuff on top of this, but these are my personal
> top 5 criteria.

Methinks there might really be only two.

Can write clearly, grammatically and with good organisation.

Willing and able to learn complex topics quickly.

Those two abilities, some motivation, and enough background
knowledge to put you within shooting distance of the subject
matter, are the baseline. Given those, you can learn most
tech writing jobs in reasonable time.

To do it really well of course, you need expert knowledge of
document design and usability issues, plus considerable
knowledge of the local toolset, the subject matter and the
audience requirements.

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