Re: do I break into tech writing?

Subject: Re: do I break into tech writing?
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 10:44:07 -0700

> Randy Smith <randysmith101 -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > No paid experience at it, but I would like to get into software
> > documentation of some sort. I am graduating with a BS in Computer
> > Science in May; it'll be my 2nd degree--I already have a BA in
> > English.
> >
> > When I started out on this degree, I figured I would do programming,
> > and maybe I can get a job doing such, but the more I read about the
> > career prospects in that area, especially since I am now over 40,
> > and with the massive influx of foreign programmers....
> >
> > What I would really like to do is go to Silicon Valley for a few
> > years and make a ton of money.

Randy, you have the whole world at your feet. Forget being over 40 - there
appears to be no particular age discrimination in technical writing in Silicon
Valley, anyway. You have an added advantage of being able to write code, which
puts you ahead of a lot of entry-level technical writers. You may have to start
at a less than golden wage, but if you play your cards right, within 3-5 years
you could find yourself in a very lucrative position.

The important parts are getting your foot in the right door, and making a
commitment to yourself to learn the technologies that are in demand. If you
know Windows, learn Unix and vice versa. If you don't know Linux or XML, learn
them. (And if you don't know HTML yet, learn it immediately!) If you know
Word, learn Framemaker. The more facile you are with tools the more employable
you will be.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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