RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary

Subject: RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary
From: "Foster, Willow" <WFoster -at- friedmancorp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 10:33:30 -0500

John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
~> Getting a degree in TW is will make you feel very
~> comfortable. However, from an employer's perspective...what does it
~> do for THEM. The problem with being trained as a technical writer is
~> that you may know how to write, but you still cannot prove a
~> definable anything to write ABOUT.
~> Example, and this is an extreme case...if you were looking to hire
~> someone to write financial software documentation for an
~> entenprise-wide application, say SAP or JD Edwards, who would you
~> interview first...someone with a Masters in Writing or someone who is
~> a CPA with a couple of weekend writing certificates from the local
~> comm college?

Hi John,

It's kinda funny that you should post this. I was writing a response to your
post yesterday (Certification, was Re: real tech writers?) and was saying
something along those lines. BTW, I don't think you're example was extreme
at all... but then, I was hired to write the manufacturing and technical
documentation for an enterprise-wide application. :)

Basically, yeah, I think you're right, having industry knowledge is
valuable. It gives me an edge over other writers looking for work in this
field. But besides that, it helps with my relationship with my co-workers. I
don't give them a blank look when they start talking about MRP, materials
management, JIT, whatever. Now, I don't know as much as many of the folks
that work here, but I know enough to not ask stupid questions... all that
often. Also, I can better understand what the user wants. That's probably
the best advantage I can think of.

I'm not against Tech writing classes. I'm all for them and am planning on
checking out some of those links Julie Brodeur posted. I think those classes
are a great way to learn how I can do my job better as far as style, tone,
structure, etc. (I know I still have a long way to go in lots of those
areas... thankfully, I have a very understanding editor.) But for the
content, the meat of the book, industry specific classes are the way to go.
IMO as always.


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