Re: Documentation Architect vs. Technical Expert !

Subject: Re: Documentation Architect vs. Technical Expert !
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 09:05:03 -0800 (PST)

<dan -dot- gallagher -at- pulsartech -dot- com> wrote ...

> How can I possibly know about this stuff, when these engineers are world
> renowned experts on it? How can I possibly be viewed as worthy of doing
> this documentation? Sorry, but I'm feeling somewhat vulnerable at this
> point. I would like to keep up with things and be viewed as competant. But
> I have no knowledge of Frequency shift keying or Power-Line Carrier. How
> can I even begin to be worthy in their eyes, when these experts have been
> at it since before I was born?
> I hope you understand my self-imposed dilemna.

I typed "Frequency shift keying" into Google and just read 3 great articles on
it. There is ample information out there about the technology. Spend some time
to learn a little about what the engineers know. Then make friends with them
and get them to explain the technologies to you. Demonstrate that you've
learned a little about their expertise and they'll be more than happy to share
information with you.

Then you will be worthy of documenting it.

You might have been hired as a documentation expert. But a documentation expert
is almost useless if they don't understand the subject matter. A documentation
expert with no subject matter expertise is an administrative assistant.

You need to learn the science and technology behind the products you're
documenting. It's just that simple.

Andrew Plato

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