Technical Writing Course Update: Interviewing a Subject Matter Expert.

Monday, September 24, 2012
Last week in the Technical Writing course I'm taking we covered publication goals (business and usability goals) and audience analysis. Absolutely loved it!

This week we're working on task-mapping, table of contents and indexes. I'm in the process of working on my assignment and I can see why task-mapping is so important. I can't wait to try this on a real project.

I've already done a lot of the reading for next week. It involves information gathering and interviewing subject matter experts (SME.) The articles about SME make me laugh because I can think of a few people who fit into 'hoarder' category. The people who want to keep all information to themselves because it makes them feel smarter - they know something you don't. Or maybe it makes them feel more secure in their jobs. In either case, trying to get information from them sometimes feels impossible. After you have interviewed these people and find out you missed something you may find yourself asking them, "Why didn't you tell me that?" Usually the answer from an information 'hoader' is an arrogant, "You didn't ask."

 Below are some links to more information about interviewing SMEs. They are not the ones from my class but basically contain the same information.

On My Way To A Technical Writer Certificate!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I am starting my journey towards getting my Technical Writer Certificate!  My first course starts on September 12th and I’m very excited.  In my full time job I work in the technical field where I already write up a lot of documentation. The department has been going through big changes and some of my new responsibilities will be:

Create test documents
Document system functionality, particularly related to new enhancements
Document analysis and defects
Prepare and review recommendations and other project initiation documents
Prepare and review end user and operations documentation, training materials, and timelines

Not only did I request to take this program to become more efficient in my job, creating clear and informative documents but it has been a personal interest for some time.

I can’t wait to start.