RE: Certification List

Subject: RE: Certification List
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 16:54:48 -0700 (PDT)

--- Wade Courtney <WCourtney -at- Elance -dot- com> wrote:
> I wasn't invited, therefore any certifications created are invalid. My opinion is
> just as important as anyone else's.

Or just as unimportant. Validity is in the eye of the beholder, too. Any
certification becomes meaningful, whether any particular opinion is included or not,
if enough people think it is meaningful. Your opinion, or mine, individually are

> Anything ad hoc can't be good, its generally disorganized lacks fairness.

Life isn't fair. Nobody ever said it was, and nothing says it has to be. Fairness is

> Those
> people who create the certification will most likely make sure that it matches
> their skill set so they are the first ones out of the gate.

Yup. So? This opinion starts from a false premise: that life, and therefore
certification have to be fair. Who says? Why?

> Certification of an art form (writing) is next to impossible, there are too many
> techniques to narrow it down to one mutually exclusive set of criteria.

Baloney. Certification of a skill set is hardly impossible. Technical writing is NOT
ART. Technical Writers are not artists, though I can see that if your knowledge of
TWs is limited to this list how you might be misled into thinking so. A greater
collection of prima donnas and egos is hard to imagine outside of the United
Nations, I suppose. Craftspersons, to be inclusive, are certified all the time. If
anyone in this profession thinks they're an artist, they had better rethink their
career choice.

> Not to mention that it would take years to come up with acceptable certification
> criteria, and there is no reputable agency to administer the certification. To my
> its just another stupid hoop I have to jump through to prove myself.
> Are we to take typing tests next?

It wouldn't take but a few minutes to come up with certification criteria.
Acceptable? It only has to be acceptable to those who use it. If it is a successful
set of criteria, people who possess the certification will prosper, and those who
don't won't.

As for proving oneself in a job or work environment, that happens everyday. One
either passes the test and continues in one's employment or one fails and is let go.
Ain't nobody got it made, my friend. If you're looking for loyalty, buy a dog. If
you're looking for lifetime employment, find a country that guarantees that (or a
company, though I think those have all changed with the times). If I need another
writer, I have a set of criteria I'm looking for. Those who meet that criteria are
considered. Those who don't, aren't. If someone won't "jump through my hoops" I
won't hire them.

So, in my opinion, arguing against having criteria for the reasons given is both
pointless and meaningless. You can rail against the unfairness of it all, but that
won't make life any more fair. If you want my job, you'll meet my criteria, and
you'll be someone I'm willing to take a chance that I can work with. Objective
criteria might actually be a benefit, for those who meet them might have a leg up.
Yep, it's unfair, but that's the way it is whether you want it to be or not.

> Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.

Opinions are like a**holes. Everybody has one, including me. <g>

Tom Murrell
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com Last Updated 05/26/2003
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RE: Certification List: From: Wade Courtney

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