I believe I have been so caught up in the reading that I have forgotten my “ reading for content skills”, and actually enjoying the text. Which I must say, is not the norm for myself. From the introductions continued need to differentiate terms such as process and heuristic framework, bring additional attention. After reading, I realized I was not the only one still trying to define or say what technical communications was or was not. As I completed my research project last semester, my inability to answer this question left me feeling as if my paper was not complete. In chapter one’s discussion on how the field of technical communications is mapped, or historically discussed, I then began to understand why I still have yet to be able to answer the question. I believe one has to take all three of these ways of unearthing technical communication history in order to get closer to our answer of what is technical communication. The introduction also explains the need for diversity in approaches to technical communications, as well as a preparation needed to complete a different range of abilities and goals. The introduction mentioned this about a computer, however I feel this applies to the field in general. The text also recognizes the cliché idea that technical communication is a field that is constantly changing. Again, this idea alone made it difficult for myself when attempting to complete my previous research assignment. How could I advocate for technical communication programs at HBCIU’s if the program would continue to change? (This is a problem because HBCU programs typically depend on stability) Granted, HBCUs have gotten better at being able to adapt, I’m not so sure if they have the tools necessarily to adapt with a tech communications program.
I was also drawn to the idea that technical communicators must learn to become reflective problem solvers ( 3). I never thought of this per say, however I understand how this is the case. I can’t help but think of struggling to put my desk together. It was evident that someone did not take the No, your audience approach.
I am still struggling a bit with understanding heuristics as a whole, in practice. When provided with the example about sorting clothes, I was able to understand because that was a concrete example. I can see or actually perform the act of sorting clothes. However, how does occur in our writing of technical documents? For myself, having a print out of the recursive procedures for adapting heuristics may be beneficial as I can see the process in motion. Chapter one provides the first question we have to look at when “performing” heuristics, but again I am lost on what this looks like in practice.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the reading. I was unable to complete chapter four, but, since we will have an additional day to discuss our readings, I figure I can spend additional time on it to really digest it.