Re: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma

Subject: Re: Is TW Still Hospitable to Novices? A Dilemma
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 18:55:30 -0800

Dana Worley wrote:

> > Sometimes they offered friendly advice. One would say get an IT
> > degree; another would suggest a tech writer's certification
> > program.
> If your friend wants to be a Tech Writer, then TW certification is the
> way to go (if he has the resources to do so).

I couldn't agree less with Dana's contention that you need a TW certificate to
get into the field. I am a hiring manger of tech writers (and others), and a
TW certificate is decidedly NOT worth much to me. What matters to me is (and
I've said this before - go read the archives) (1) the ability to write
clearly, concisely, and accurately; (2) the ability to learn, and learn
quickly; (3) some experience with the tools of the trade; and (4) some exposure
to technical topics in the area you're trying to enter. For instance, if
you're hoping to write API documentation, it helps if you know how to program
in one of the popular languages. If you want to try your hand at networking
and telecommunications gobbledygook (pardon - I'm up to my eyeballs in such
right now and frustrated at how mucked-up some engineers' writing and thinking
can be), it helps if you can explain how a LAN works and what protocols are.

But beyond that, what is most important about what you can bring is your
curiosity and desire to learn, and your willingness to learn on your own. At
least that's what I look for.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
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