E: advice for newbie?

Subject: E: advice for newbie?
From: Paul Goble <pg -at- pgcommunication -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 15:33:57 -0600

Anthony asked:
I have a computer science degree ... Should I consider
an online tech writing degree or course?

Bill answered:
Start sending that resume out! :)

I agree. Armed with a CS degree, I had no problem landing
a really great tech writing job--right in the middle of an
economic downturn.

If your experience is like mine, you'll encounter two barriers:

1. The HR departments don't know what to do with you, even though
the hiring managers really want someone like you.

2. The hiring managers have given up trying to find technical
writers with a strong CS background.

In both cases, the solution is to network your way past the
HR departments and talk directly to the technical writing
managers. You already have a great excuse to talk to them:
"I'd like to talk to you about what it would take to get
into the field of technical writing."

While you're waiting for that dream job to show up, working on
a small portfolio may be just as helpful as taking courses.

Be sure to look at the recent discussions on this list regarding
API documentation. That could be a specialty to consider.

Paul Goble


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