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Re: Economist magazine points to decline of tech writing
Subject:Re: Economist magazine points to decline of tech writing From:Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> To:techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:34:14 -0800
Over the past week I've kept thinking of this silly study as I do
various things that aren't likely to be automated any time soon, such
as figuring out use cases and explaining them to programmers unclear
on the concept, or explaining the state of in-progress features to QA
people having trouble figuring out how to test them.
On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 8:19 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:
> Garbage in, garbage out.
> The chart in the Economist article is taken from and cites this paper:
> Its authors used an algorithm to guess which of 702 job
> classifications are likely to be computerized. I think there's a flaw
> in their algorithm and/or the source data ("literature on the task
> content of employment" etc.), since tech writing consists of pretty
> much the opposite of "tasks following well-defined procedures that can
> easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms."
> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 6:11 PM, Lois Patterson <loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> Scroll down the page and you will see a chart about the probability that
>> computerization will lead to job losses in the next two decades for
>> specific professions, including accounting, telemarketing, retail sales,
>> and technical writing. For telemarketing, this probability is 99%, and for
>> technical writing, 89%. I'm sure this doesn't say anything we don't already
>> know. The main question will be if new jobs open up that use traditional
>> tech writing skills. I appreciated that the Economist including technical
>> writing in its list, although I should point out that no specific
>> definition is given, so I can't be sure it fits the definition that "we"
>> have for the profession.
>> This coincides with a podcast on Tom Johnson's site which discusses
>> employment for technical writers, which basically suggests that outside of
>> programming documentation, and documentation for governmental agencies, the
>> outlook is rather bleak:
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