RE: real tech writers?

Subject: RE: real tech writers?
From: surfer924 -at- ameritech -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 8:41:56

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

Oh, please, this is so elitist....<

My thoughts exactly. This is one of the things that annoys me about the
technical writing "profession." The attitude that you can't be a "real"
technical writer without this or that degree or certificate in this or that
discipline or tool.

I spent 20 years in the Army battling this kind of attitude. I worked in
military intelligence(MI) for the majority of my career, but never went to
the formal school or received the MI specialty code. The majority of those
who did had an elitist attitude toward those of us who weren't "real MI",
even though I did better analysis, wrote better reports, and knew more
about tradecraft than they did.

Then, as now, my feeling toward those who feel we need "real" training in
the field in order to be considered professionals, is pity. I pity anyone
who is so insecure in their own competence that they have to design
artificial barriers to protect their rice bowl.

I've been a TW for three years now, since retiring from the military. I've
been steadily employed, and have even gotten raises in spite of the
cutbacks that have plagued the TW profession since the post-dot com bust.
I've had no "formal" training in technical writing, other than a single
technical writing course I took in college. I've written many hardware and
software manuals, created web sites, and designed online help systems. The
developers, clients, and my boss, all consider me a "real" Technical


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