Re: Testing Candidates (was: The Results)

Subject: Re: Testing Candidates (was: The Results)
From: Amy Smith/Westford/IBM <amy_smith -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 08:43:44 -0400

Keith opined:
>I really in my heart of hearts believe some people - even very
>people - just can't be taught to write well, just as I - despite an ample
>belly - can't be taught to belly-dance. Sorry for the image - I was
>to make a point. <g>

As a writer *and* bellydancer, I agree with Keith. ;-) I know some very
articulate, intelligent people who just can't write well. Don't get me
wrong - they use proper grammar, spelling, etc. But they just can't seem
to develop a good paragraph.

Then there's the rest of the tech writer skill package - not only does one
have to write well, but in this business, you often have to write *fast*.
And be resourceful in getting information...and builds...and learning the
product and the technology.

One could argue that the resourcefulness could be taught. But you'd be
surprised. At one job, we hired a pleasant young man as an entry-level
tech writer who happened to be a very good writer. The writing team was
very good about showing him the company ropes, encouraged him to ask for
help, etc. But he just sat in his cube. Never went to dev meetings, never
followed up individually with developers. I don't know if it was terminal
shyness or what. But he often got caught short if a feature changed or a
deadline moved up.


Amy Smith
GPD Information Development
IBM Software Group/Lotus Software
Phone 978.399.5009 | Tie line: 399.5009 | Email: amy_smith -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com
*****IBM Confidential******

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