Re: Background

Subject: Re: Background
From: Carma C Allen <ccallen -at- CCGATE -dot- DP -dot- BECKMAN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 11:53:58 -0800

--Boundary (ID 3seDuVz4Sl9cImnFKWlLMQ)
Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN
Content-transfer-encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE

Paul's answer was excellent! Over the years (more than I like to thin=
k about) I=20
have written on such subjects as survival in the desert, how to const=
ruct a=20
portable air base (in 6 hours), fighter plane flight manuals, operati=
on of=20
electronic direction-finding systems, and=C4currently=C4operation and=
care of=20
medical laboratory test equipment. I didn't start out as an expert on=
any of=20
these subjects, but I learned very quickly. Interviewing SMEs is IMHO=
the most=20
vital skill you can have as a technical writer.

ccallen -at- ccgate -dot- dp -dot- beckman -dot- com

=46rom: Paul Strandlund <Paul -dot- Strandlund -at- X400UX -dot- SASKTEL -dot- SK -dot- CA=

Subject: Background
Comments: To: TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- UCC -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L <TECHWR-L -at- OSUVM1 -dot- B=

Reply to: Background
> Here's a general question for technical writers and educators:

> What do you find is the best combination between technical knowledg=
e and
>composition experience? In other words, should an aspiring technica=

>writer/educator strive to be more versed on computer science fundame=
ntals or
> advanced grammar? Where do you believe that one's priorities shoul=
d be
> placed? Make any distinctions (ie education vs. workplace) that yo=

> need to make as I understand that different circumstances dictate
> different responses.

I am actually going to post this one to the list because I have virtu=
ally no
background in computer science but I am a technical writer. I have n=

background in advanced grammer for that matter. My background includ=
es a
Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics and years of experi=
ence as a
waiter. IMHO, this does not make me a poor writer.

Maybe its just me, but the requirements that I see one needing are th=
e ability
to read, the ability to ask questions, and the ability to think ratio=
nally. If
all the abilities exist in the person who wants the position then the=
y will be
able to learn all aspects necessary to perform the duties required.

The reason for my thinking stems from the fact that I write about num=
different topics in my position. Working at a telecommunications com=
pany as a
technical writer menas writing about everything that you can possiby =
think of
(almost). We are responsible for all corporate policies, procedures,=
practices that must be followed. This vast array of topics does not =
allow for
one to have a great technical background.

Your question would be better asked to see if there is an optimum mix=
of writing
skills and desire to learn. This would allow for a wider response fi=
eld than
only asking about computer knowledge.

These are just my thoughts, a minority of one so to speak, and I felt=
that they
needed to be voiced this time. Please remember that there are more t=
han just
technical writers for computer companies on this list.

Thanks for your time,

> James Inman

paul -dot- strandlund -at- sasktel -dot- sk -dot- ca

--Boundary (ID 3seDuVz4Sl9cImnFKWlLMQ)--

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