Re: skills

Subject: Re: skills
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 12:11:58 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

> Books and "teach yourself"techniques are never as desirable as on-the-job training.

True. But what's better than any of them is a sample or two that
demonstrates your competence.

If you're teaching yourself, don't just list a skill on your
resume. Do a dummy project or two to show that your knowledge
isn't theoretical.

>Basically, if you want to make big money in tech writing, you need to become
>very skilled at documenting hot technologies. The hottest thing right now are
>tech writers who know software development, can read C++ or Java code, and
>networking. Tool knowledge is good, but not as important as technology
>experience.

True again. However, it's worth adding that niches in
tech-writing exist for all levels of expertise and all
backgrounds. Being a specialist can bring in big bucks, but so
can being a generalist. Having specialized knowledge is useful,
but so is knowing a particular tool that a company is looking for
specifically.

Another thing: while knowing the hot technologies is useful, you
also have to keep up with them. This years' hot technologies can
easily become last years' forgotten experiments.

I know some successful writers who are hardcore technophiles and
others who survive on their knowledge of writing and of tools.
Neither group seems to have an edge in salaries. In the end, I
suspect that your background matters much less than being
professional and gaining a reputation for quality and for timely
delivery.

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"And you've seen it before:
The names of good women and men,
Decreed by the sword and the pen
To be outlaws all over again."
-Karen Mathieson (Capercailie)




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