Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market

Subject: Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:53:31 -0400

I'd better get back into this. Sigh; sigh*.

Perhaps I did not well describe my naive (but not novice)
writers. Where I was we built *technical* writers out of
people who could write but did not know anything about
computers. (That was our technical subject matter, back
before every home had a computer or three. They were still
rare even in the workplace.)

Our best new tech writers had PhDs in various subjects,
often not technical at all. Most were naive, incredibly
naive, about computers, and thus were, for a brief time
an excellent example of our target audience. But after two
or three months they began to become blind to the insights
that are especially open to the good writer who is seeing
a new thing for the first time.

A person who has just completed a PhD in history, drama,
French or chemistry but has never used a computer is
likely a good writer. Moreover he or she has already shown
the ability to master a complicated subject and to write
about it to a specific audience, according to a particular
style. Naive about computers, but not novice about writing.

I'm going away again and letting the rest of you fight it.

John Posada wrote:

And who said anything about novice writers? Me thinks you're getting your knickers in a twist about a non-issue. The people you're arguing

It most certainly did...I quote:
[Quoting ME, yes, I, Peter Neilson, write this part:]

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

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."

That just might possibly be the case.


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RE: Breaking into the tech writing job market: From: John Posada

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