Re: Educational areas to pursue

Subject: Re: Educational areas to pursue
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 13:36:17 -0700

Beth wrote:
> Who wants to go from being an accomplished techwriter to being a newbie
> programmer? Not me. If an employer is suggesting I take programming,
> sounds like they really wanted to hire a programmer who could write.
> Absolutely, learn about technology, but if you're already an experienced
> writer, take something like project management, or a program in
> knowledge management. Relational databases -- sure, but approach it from
> the position of a writer, not as a neophyte database administrator.
> Make sure the educational routes you pursue enhance YOUR skills and
> career, not just satisfy the employer.

Well, as an employee, satisfying your employer should be a fairly high
priority, don't you think? They're the one paying you.

Many of us work with database-driven products; if that's the case at your
company I'd think a database class would not be a step towards being a
rookie DBA, but towards being a more knowledgable and valuable tech writer
for documenting your company's products. And your company may need
programming or API docs - it would make sense for somebody already
familiar with its products (you) to get a bit of programming knowledge to
assist in writing projects of that nature.

These days it's increasingly rare for companies to subsidize a writer's
education. Take advantage of it - the skills you gain could significantly
increase your longevity at your company, and won't look too shabby on your
resume for future opportunities either. Also, if the company foots the
bill, they may be less likely to lay you off, having already invested so
much into your development.

Hell with tools, learn stuff that applies to what your company sells. Most
tools can be learned from a 20-dollar book and a couple weekends of work.

Keith Cronin
Important note: If you ever hear me say something like, "Wow, what a
kick -at- ss salad," you'll know I've been abducted and replaced by an evil
alien replicant.


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