Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety/who are we?

Subject: Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety/who are we?
From: DURL <durl -at- BUFFNET -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 11:19:51 -0500

This brings up something I'm mulling over. The old debate about
technical writers was "Are
we writers first, and technically knowledgeable second, or is it the
other way around?"
Now the question is, "Which is more important--one's writing
skills, or one's software skills?"
I submit that very few people can keep up with both the writing
end and the software end. Note that by "writing end," I mean skills
connected to putting the information together in a usable way, which means
knowing how a page should look, versus a screen; knowing something about
information design; knowing something about research and interviewing;
knowing how to organize information for the user...I think these are all
part of the writing/editing skill set.
I submit that very few people can keep up with the new information
and research in communicating information AND keep current with the
various programming skills, not to mention multiple software, each with
its own regular revisions.
I suspect--and browsing the web tends to support this--that we're
making great strides in glitz and going backwards in communicating.
Not to mention the old days, 15 years ago, when "tech writers"
used yellow paper and pencils to write and edit, and gave their copy to
typists who prepared the final hardcopy. Have we really made progress?
Just musing,

Mary Durlak Erie Documentation Inc.
East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo)
durl -at- buffnet -dot- net

On Fri, 12 Dec 1997, Laurin Kinville wrote:

>... THAT is the scary
> part - getting so far behind that it seems like we will never catch up.
> I am far from scared of doing it - I am even trying to squeeze in study for
> the MCSE - but I need 48 hours in a day...
> -----Original Message-----
> >... Someone who didn't totally enjoy learning, who
> >didn't enjoy the challenge of staying on the cutting edge probably
> >shouldn't be in tech writing. At least that's been my experience and I
> >would like to hear what others have to say.
> >
> >Kathy Stanzler
> >Technical Writer
> >Kking -at- brooktrout -dot- com
> >
> >, or
> >
> >
>, or

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