RE: "not technical enough"

Subject: RE: "not technical enough"
From: Melanie Shook <mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 09:56:18 -0500

Rebecca Rachmany wrote:> 4. You will have better research skills. (I
hate to admit it, but it
is true that the exact
sciences graduates simply have better reasoning, organizational
and research skills
than the social sciences and liberal arts majors. It has to do
with training, not intelligence.)>

Rebecca, you definitely were not in any of my symbolic logic, philosophy of
mathematics, or set theory classes, or graduate linguistics classes, to name
a few. My liberal arts education provided me with excellent training in
reasoning, organizational and research skills - maybe yours didn't, but that
is not a reflection of all liberal arts education.

Secondly, I think these skills have more to do with a person's
interests/innate skills than training. A person who WANTS to learn about the
technical workings of a product/service, and who has the ability and desire
to determine the needed information for the intended audience, and
communicate that information, is going to be a better technical writer than
someone who has little ability to communicate and no interest in evaluating
the audience's needs, even if they have training/knowledge in the desired
industry, whether trained in an "exact science" or not.

A technical writer's motivation to learn and communicate the appropriate
details, and their ability to do so, is far more important than the type of
training or industry knowledge they possess PRIOR to the job beginning.

That said, the writer must learn the industry/technical field and that does
add a learning curve - in some cases, an employer may require someone who
doesn't need that extra time.

Melanie Shook
Technical Writer
mshook -at- COM2001 -dot- com

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