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: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 10:27:22 -0600

On 25 Jun 2002 at 10:49, Janet Murphy wrote:

> 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.

I don't have a tech writing degree; why, I don't have a BS degree in
anything! I have a two-year associates degree from a jr. college that
taught me how to type, file, keep books, etc.

What I DO have is 20+ years of experience working in an office,
working with computers, asking questions, learning to get along with
my coworkers, and learning to be a good writer and editor because
there was no one else around to do the job. I did a 5 year night-
school stint working towards a degree (mostly english, math, and
MIS course work), but working full-time and going to school
eventually got the best of me.

I have the utmost respect from the entire engineering department
here at CSI -- all the way from the top of the food chain (director of
engineering) to the bottom (programming interns). I have complete
support and respect from all department heads. I know, because
they have told me. I don't need the respect or approval from anyone
who thinks a piece of paper automatically makes one a qualified
tech writer. I want the respect from the people with whom I work.

The quality of your work, ability to meet deadlines, and how you
interact with the team are the things that will determine whether you
gain or lose respect from your coworkers -- not a piece of paper.
Yes, that piece of paper may open more doors for you, but once a
door is open, the real test for a "real tech writer" is how you get the
job done.

Dana W.

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