RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

Subject: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
From: "Wally Glassett" <wallyg -at- flashcom -dot- net>
To: "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 15:59:59 -0800

Ok, all. I agree with everything I've read on this thread - not that I've
read all the postings. I will say that I've been on, around, and in
computers for more than two decades (how much more is my business, thank
you...), was once proficient at both MTST and WYLBUR. Was even part of a
programming group that once wrote a text processing application in Fortran
on a CDC Mainframe. My B.S. is in physics.

All that being said, I do find that these days I learn more, and more
interesting, things about the applications I use from non-techies than I do
from techies. They usually have a different perspective and often different
goals, so they can figure out ways to do things that I never would.
Sometimes these ways are hilariously inefficient, but it is always
interesting to learn their thought processes and/or reasoning. Those are
usually very solid and informative to me.

Just my two cents worth on a Friday afternoon after a long week with Visio &
Word, and just finishing my first glass of the local red. In my case local
red means Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, CA, where it is sunny and in
the balmy mid-60's.


Wally Glassett
Tech Doc-It, Inc.
wallyg -at- flashcom -dot- net <mailto:wallyg -at- flashcom -dot- net>

Once we thought if we sat a million monkeys down at a million typewriters
we'd get the works of Shakespeare. Now that we have the Web, we know this
isn't true. - Anon

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-9988 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-9988 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Sharon
Sent: Friday, December 17, 1999 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

I know. I worked with a writer recently who kept referring to his computer,
the programs he was using, the network, the Internet, and the program he was
writing for as "the system". It was really fun when things went wrong and he
tried to describe it so we could solve his problem.

My point here is that is isn't enough to know how to write. It is also not
enough to know how to take the computer apart. But both are necessary to do
a good job. How can we tell people about technology if we don't understand
that basics of using it ourselves? How can we know what is important to tell
them about and what isn't when it is all a wonderful and exciting machine
that we have no idea how to use effectively? We waste 15 pages describing in
detail how to install using the Wizard and forget to tell the user about the
really important stuff. Like the stuff they need to do every day?

My thoughts on a lovely afternoon in sunny southern Cal.


Sharon Burton-Hardin
President of the Inland Empire chapter of the STC
Anthrobytes Consulting
Check out!

| Not to mention that memory is the space on the hard drive. (Comment) "If
| don't have enough memory, take some of the garbage you have stored on your
| hard drive off and make room for something else." (When you have a 6.4 gig
| Hard Drive, with only 1 gig used.

Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based Help.
More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-

Sponsored by ForeignExchange (
Rely on ForeignExchange for responsive and professional
software localization and technical translation services.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: wallyg -at- flashcom -dot- net
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-9988N -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Where do old techwriters go
Next by Author: Re: Discouraging supervisor from tangential assignment?
Previous by Thread: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
Next by Thread: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads