RE: The other side of the coin (was He said...She said)

Subject: RE: The other side of the coin (was He said...She said)
From: "Farwell, Peter" <peter -dot- farwell -at- encorp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 10:16:27 -0700

I am currently employed (yes, I give thanks everyday) and am even pursuing a
Masters in Object Oriented Technologies paid for by my employer (double
thanks). Last night at home I checked as I occasionally do and
as usual, there were two listings for Technical Writers in the last 60 days
in my area (Colorado Front Range) and these went back to January (and one
was for a Bilingual Tech writer paying $20-24/hr). Then I checked for
'software developers' and 'boing', several pages of job listings. I'm not
saying I want to give up tech writing but learning how to "cut code" as one
of my professors called it will always put food on the table. Before anyone
says, "Easy for you, your employer pays for school", I would point out I
took my first 4 graduate courses 1 1/2 years ago on my own dime (loans -
ugh), and used the Database Developer Certificate as a credential to land my
current tech writer job (and HR checked carefully, I assure you).

Your current boss may have a slanted view of what a tech writer does (senior
management can be myopic like that) but people on this list who talk about
developing the "technical" in technical writer are right on. I have switched
careers more times than I can count without really thinking about it but I
have always needed my ability to communicate. If I become a full-time
programmer someday, I will still be a tech writer when it comes to making
technology available to the people who need it.

Peter Farwell

P.S. Buy a book from Barnes & Noble and take one of their free online
programming classes if you really want to learn programming. All it takes it
time and the price of a book.

> Does anyone out there have a boss that has strong views on
> the role of a technical writer? My boss
> (the president of the company) thinks that a technical should
> not have any *significant*
> programming, networking, etc skills. He believes that it the
> engineers' (SMEs) responsibility to
> relay the information to the technical writer for
> organization and explaination. Also, any company
> that rejects a candidate on the grounds of being technical
> enough is using that as an excuse. When
> I pointed out how the job reqs read and what this and other
> boards say, his reply was "I don't think
> so."
> Now, there goes my argument for taking programming classes... :)
> FYI, I work in the DC Metro area.
> Ginny

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Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

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