Re: teaching technical writing to engineers [Long]

Subject: Re: teaching technical writing to engineers [Long]
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 10:20:33 -0800

>"John Posada" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com> wrote in message news:233449 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
>These last two events were the most mentally fatiguing things I've ever
>gone through...I'm just not used to thinking along those lines, but it
>did teach me something about what I do now.

I'll add more form my own experience. In the summer of 1990 I worked at
Microsoft doing product support for Windows 3.0. This was the product that
started the second wave of personal computing, getting computers into the
hands of the masses like never before (as opposed to the first wave, where
Lotus 1-2-3 put personal computers in the office like they never had been
before). Walking people from all levels of computer experience, with all
levels of equipment, through troubleshooting steps on the phone was quite
the challenge.

But a year or so later I was doing the same thing, for a small company whose
users were virtually all home users. I talked to some people--in 1991--who
were using early 80s PCs with nothing more than dual floppy drives.
Combining the often disparity in compuyter knowledge with the need to
imagine what they were seeing and doing (because I couldn't see through the
phone lines) was an interesting and enlightening challenge.

It also made me realize that some of the apocryphal tech support stories
about cd drive trays as cup holders probably hold more than a grain of

>John Posada
>Senior Technical Writer
>Isogon Corporation
> "Realizing Your Business Goals
> Through Software Asset Management"

OK, being the persnickety b**** that I am, I have to ask: When someone
founds a business, any business, how often is one of their goals to manage
their software assets? To be successful, yes. To make money, yes. To be the
best product in the space, yes. To be good enough to be bought by Microsoft,
yes. To make Forbes, yes. To manage software assets? Uh, I don't think so.

It's a means, not a goal. That distinction, which most marketing people fail
to grasp, usually defines whether users succeed with a product (as opposed
to whether a product sells well).


ROBOHELP X5 - ALL NEW VERSION. Now with Word 2003 support, Content
Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!

Now is the best time to buy - special end of month promos, including:
$100 mail-in rebate; Free online orientation on content management
functionality; Huge savings on support and future product releases;
PLUS Great discounts on RoboHelp training. OFFER EXPIRES March 31!
Call 1-800-358-9370 or visit:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -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: Re: How to promote a Web site?
Next by Author: Re: Knowledge of subject matter
Previous by Thread: RE: teaching technical writing to engineers [Long]
Next by Thread: Frame's dead end?

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

Sponsored Ads