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For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Zack Brown asks:
> What are the names of the different types of
> documents (functional spec, requirements document, etc), and what are
> the features of each of those types?
> I also wanted to know what other tasks aside from writing would be part
> of the job. For example, writing document templates, coming up with a
> work flow system for doc production, doing schedules, etc.
Here are several ways to get answers to the above questions:
1) Look at job ads. Some will list the responsibilities.
2) Browse messages in Techwr-L (e.g., from the archives at http://www.raycomm.com). You will see people asking for help on various
types of documents and/or talking about what they do. If you look at the
recent thread from that question by Keith, you will see that most replies
included what types of documents people work on.
> And finally, although I understood it was a fluid concept, it would have
> been nice to get some useful data to help negotiate a top salary (or at
> least to figure out how the salary I negotiated related to other salaries
> in the field, in my geographical location).
If you do a search on the archives for Salary Survey, you will see some
answers to this. But you can check the STC website (http://www.stc.org) for
their salary survey, which is broken down in a number of ways, including
geographical area and years of experience.
> In short, I was not savvy, and wanted to become savvy. Are there any
> "savvy tech writing" books out there? Maybe they would still help.
As John Posada posted, you won't become "savvy" without the work experience,
but the above should answer your questions about what type of work falls
under the domain of technical writing, and what sort of salaries to expect.
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