Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

Subject: Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 11:10:17 -0800

Deborah S. Ray wrote:

As a technical writer learning tools or technologies, how valuable have you generally found formal training to be?

I answered "slightly valuable." When I first switched to technical writing, I took some courses in a local certificate program religiously. Unfortunately, the program, offered by a local university, was largely run by STC manager-types whose hands-on experience seemed several years out of date. As I started finding work, the program seemed about as realistic as Hackos' Managing Your Documentation Projects; it definitely did not prepare me for real world situations. Nor, the couple of times that I hired another writer, did the candidates who had finished the program seem any betterprepared than those who hadn't.

I started drifting into editing and tool-based design courses at the same university, which were somewhat more to the point, but still too elementary to be worth the time and money. For various reasons, I never did bother to finish the program.

I'm looking now at programming and network courses at a local vocational institute. They seem demanding, but I think they'd be more useful to me than any of the stuff I took before.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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New TECHWR-L Poll Question: From: Deborah S. Ray

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