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Writers starting out with a new company or seeking to improve their
position in a company might consider talking to the developers, or whoever
their primary customers are in the company, and asking them what subjects
would be worthwhile pursuing. For example, if I were interested in a
career in telecommunications, I would probably take a computer
architecture course, then some courses in data communications. If I were
involved with a company that does transaction processing for banks, it
would make a lot of sense to take some courses in database theory and
applications. But the best source of recommendations might be
your customer, preferably a person you have a good working relationship
with and who will take your future seriously.
In some cases, you have systems engineers in a company who do all the
subject matter research and tech writers really only have to publish it.
In this case, if you really like the company, it would make sense to focus
on the publishing technology, which a vast technology field in itself.
On Wed, 26 Jul 2000, Dawn Whitlock wrote:
> As a newbie techie writer with a couple of years experience under her belt,
> I was interested to hear that you were a history major. I also did a
> history degree, but always had an inclination towards computers and writing.
> I have spent the last two years as a computer trainer, but it is only
> recently that my interest in computing and love of writing have finally
> blended (after much thrashing around deciding what on earth I wanted to do
> with my life).
> I was also pleased and interested to see that you recommend taking a
> computer programming course. I am teaching myself using SAMS Teach Yourself
> Beginning Programming by Greg Perry, but ideally would like to take a class.
> I am glad you think it is worthwhile - I started reading this book in an
> effort to be able to understand how programmers program so I could see where
> they were coming from as I want to continue writing software documentation.
> I enjoy reading computer magazines and learning more and more - which I
> think *is* important for technical writers who don't necessarily have a
> technical background like me (i.e not a computer science graduate etc etc).
Steve Whitney Phone: 301.270.4679
Documentation, Training, Proposals Fax: 301.270.8745
Networks, Unix, and Wireless Techology www.cres.com