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> In any case, if a technical writing candidate asks for tool
> training it is a sure sign they don't have what it takes to
> be a technical writer. If you can't figure out how to work
> a software package by yourself, how will you ever learn
> about the new products you will be documenting? There won't be
> any manuals or training available until you write them!
This is the best thing I've heard yet! If someone doesn't have
the ability to learn a software package on their own, I don't
think they have any business attempting to document other
On another note, here's my input.
I received a BBA in Information Systems and decided to continue my eduction
to get a Technical Communication oriented degree while I worked. We ended up
moving last year and I haven't even thought about continuing my pursuit, but
there was one class I took that I thought was excellent. It was an editing
class. About two weeks into the course we were asked to begin looking for a
project in the area we wanted to work. I chose a user's guide for our
accounting software at the university that was in major need of revision and
required several additions. Our project was to edit the item that we chose
and add anything that needed to be added. It was a semester long project,
but probably the best thing I could have done for a couple of reasons: The
project was real world (it is still in use) and I worked with our users and
our programmers to complete the project.
This kind of project is really good for providing real world experience,
especially if an intern is not an option.