Re: On learning to think

Subject: Re: On learning to think
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 09:39:54 -0800

Brian Martin wrote (in part):

> When you get into the
> working world, you'll have to use your own brain to determine how to
> best get results. ...
> Get a balanced education. Learn the methods. But mostly, learn to
> think. No one can prepare you for the working world. You'll have to
> learn it by being there and doing that. It's a process of maturing.

When we were hiring interns, the second most important factor we looked for
(after demonstrating an ability to write clearly) was the ability to learn. We
sought people who demonstrated that they had learned how to learn
independently. We knew we could teach them the tools, but we didn't have time
to teach them how to think.

We didn't expect our interns to know a lot of technical writing tools, beyond
the ability to handle a word processor to some extent. It wasn't particularly
important to us that they know Framemaker or Visio or other tools, upon entry.
However, we knew that the job market required that they know these things, so
we taught them the tools as we gave them experience working on real client
projects.

The problem with new tech writers entering the job market is that the jobs
require that you know the tools, as well as knowing how to think.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems





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