RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers

Subject: RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers
From: "Nancy Kaminski" <nancy -dot- kaminski -at- spanlink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 10:14:53 -0500

> From: Janet Murphy [mailto:janet -at- fuse -dot- net]

> What frustrates me about other TW/TC I have worked with:
> 1. Many come from various backgrounds/disciplines and
> profess to "have a knack"
> for TC. Please -- if you have a knack, back it up with REAL
> training. Get a
> degree in the field or at least a certificate. Someone
> professing to be a TW/TC
> that has no real training in the discipline will quickly be identified
> dis-respected by those who DO have training in the field.

Oh, dear. I guess my 12 years experience in the field without the
benefit of a tech comm degree or certificate means I'm dissed by my
colleagues behind my back.

I can't agree that you need a degree to be respected, or at least not
singled out as a poseur by tittering tech writers. I've gained my
training by reading journals, working with more experienced writers and
editors, and on-the-job experience. I joined STC, entered documentation
competitions, and gained even more insights from the reviews from the
judges. I've attended conferences and seminars. I work as a contract
editor for a technical publishing house outside my regular job.

And I've seen plenty of tech writers with nice, shiny tech comm degrees
who were plain awful, with no concept of how to explain anything to
anyone. I know--I've rewritten their projects. They were pretty darned
good on theory, though.

After earning a BA in Business Management and an MBA-level certificate
(and three-quarters of an MBA degree) in government contract management,
I have no desire to go back to school. My resume of real-world
experience after my academic career speaks for itself.

Nancy Kaminski
nancykam -at- attbi -dot- com

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