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Shedding commercial attitudes towards documentation

Nov 22, 2009, 12:03 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"Attitudes to writers (and why they deserve them)

"Part of the problem is that technical writers are held in low regard. There is a simple reason for this reputation: Most technical writers know nothing about technology, and the documentation they produce is worthless. The average technical writer is an English major, and is as apt to be attached to the marketing department of a company as to development or quality assurance. In other words, they have little feel for technology, and are encouraged to think of what they produce as a cosmetic extra rather than a necessity.

"Of course, technical writers could overcome these handicaps if they wanted. I have an English degree myself, yet I had few problems finding work because I realized early that I needed an expert understanding of what I wrote about.

"But this is a minority opinion."

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