RE: Software For Students

Subject: RE: Software For Students
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 15:36:01 -0500


I took nothing out of context. And, no need to be defensive. Certainly, I
was picking on the quote (and Mr. Vonnegut jr. is a tonne more successful
than I) and those kind of sentiments, not you personally.

You quoted Mr. Vonnegut thusly:

"Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., who told a class of aspiring writers at
a university to major in anything except English."

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com [SMTP:bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com]
> You took that out of context. I had just said that they should study
> other
> things outside of the program. I did not say that they should be in the
> program.
> That being said, in my first job out of college, there were "writers" from
> many different backgrounds: ex-military, mechanics, QA technicians, pipe
> layers, typists, and a few other things.
Very interesting. Glad it worked out. I am not saying that people without
English degrees cannot be technical writers. I am just suggesting that if
you want to be a technical writer, an English degree has a lot to offer you,
more than pipe laying and marine-ing (as an example of being ex-military).
And, do I not recommend the English major take advantage of college to
broaden their experiences?

> Of all of the people there, it was
> almost universally agreed that the technical writing grad school dropout
> was
> the worst writer on the project.
Well, okay. But you can hardly apply that to all tech writing grads, can
you? I mean, who is more likely to succeed as a tech writer, a tech writing
grad or a pipe layer, mechanic, ex-marine, etc? For example, do dropouts of
marine boot camp make the best ex-marines? Probably not.

> Taking English classes does not guarantee you'll be prepared to handle a
> tech writing job.
Agreed. But, I recommend that neither does being a plumber and I would
further stick my neck out by suggesting that the English degree would give
you a better shot at the tech writing job.


sean -at- quodata -dot- com

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