Re: tech writer to software developer

Subject: Re: tech writer to software developer
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 07:13:34 -0700

Gosh, and last week you wanted to be a tech writer! :)

Yes it's possible, IF you have the skills. This means more than owning a
copy of "Learn C++ in 24 Hours."

The software industry is - in my experience - a meritocracy. If you can do
something well, somebody will hire you. And if you do it even better,
they'll pay you more.

The trick is that you A) have to do something well; B) need to find an
opportunity where your ability to do this is needed; and C) have to be
able to demonstrate this skill to your potential employer. Obviously if
you lack documented experience in your field, this will be a tougher sell.
But ya gotta start somewhere...

You have referred to yourself several times as a content writer. I'm not
sure what that means - in the US we have "copy writers" who typically
create text for marketing purposes. Is that what you're doing? If so, a
shift to tech writing is not unreasonable, IF you're able to handle the
technical challenges. (The sound of Andrew Plato grinding his teeth is
heard in the distance...)

As far as becoming a developer, there is always a need for SKILLED
software developers. But it's a competitive field, where you'll need
proven skills. A college degree is not necessary, but you'll need
SOMETHING that proves you know how to do this stuff. Experience is a BIG

If you have no experience in developing software, don't expect to land a
job any time soon as a developer. But that doesn't mean you can't start
working on a long-term plan to become a developer. And working as a tech
writer while you learn to be a developer sounds like as good approach as

Good luck. And remember, you can always change your mind about what you
want to do when you grow up. Even after you grow up. I'm living proof.

- Keith Cronin


Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built
the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

- Dave Barry

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