RE: Writing for the Open Source Community

Subject: RE: Writing for the Open Source Community
From: "Gilger.John" <JGilger -at- acresgaming -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 11:58:51 -0800

Eric Dunn asked:

> Call me thick, but besides creating portfolio pieces, why bother looking into open source as a writer?

In addition to the reasons enumerated by Bruce, you get the opportunity to learn technology that your current employer may not be using yet and other "intangibles". For instance, since I have included open source doc examples in my portfolio, _every_ interviewer has made positive comments on the obvious "team player" ability required. Most ads for TWs have a requirement for "team players."

It is also a great international networking tool. When you volunteer to work on an open source documentation project, you become part of an international team and your abilities are noticed. If you are a contractor (full or part-time), you can, and do, pick up work.

O'Reilly publishes a ton of books about open source tools and applications and they pay their writers well. Many writers have helped document an open source product and then gone on to expand their work, notes, and research into a published book.

A good book on KDE or GNOME is needed and has a ready market. Are you the one to write it?

There are a lot of us "old coots" that still prefer a hard-copy book rather than the same material in man pages, pdf, html, or printed on our own printers and a couple of reams of paper. When I buy "Learning Debian GNU/Linux" or "Advanced Perl Programming", someone in the open source community hears their pocket book go "Ka-Ching."

John Gilger
Senior Technical Writer
Acres Gaming
Las Vegas, NV


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