Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market

Subject: Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>, Mike Schmidt <mschmidt -at- weathercentral -dot- tv>
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 14:53:57 -0700 (PDT)

Here we go again with the "ignorance is desired" argument and I don't
buy it, not one second. It's an excuse to justify not being skilled.

> > I use my lack of expertise on a product to help. I
> > figure that if I can understand it, I can make others
> > understand it. Others who also might not hold degrees
> > in the field. Right now, it's TV weathermen and women.
> > They're not necessarily computer literate, so my
> > directions (and my lack of weather knowledge) are basic,
> > easy to understand, and user friendly.
> Yes, yes, yes! When tech writers were hard to find and we
> were building them out of clay, this was one of the best
> things about the naive writer. We found it was better to

No, no, no!

Lack of skill makes a good technical writer? Hogwash. A good
technical writer is one who can intentionaly put themselves in ANY
level and write to that level. If you are an expereinced technical
writer who cannot write for the novice user, then you aren't a
skilled're one-dimensional and you are a "bad document
waiting to happen" writer.

OTOH, I'll take a super-experienced writer who knows how to put
themself in the place of the the novice user and INTENTIONALY write
to that level over a novice writer who can only write that way
because they don't know any better.

An experienced writer knows the pitfalls that a novice will
experience and can guide that novice user through the pitfalls...not
blunder along with them.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

"I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

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Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market: From: Peter Neilson

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