Tech Writer Skill Set (Was:(no subject))
...from what I'm reading, it seems that software documentation is thebulk of the industry.
I don't think there is a perfect "skill set" to become a technical writer. Just as there are many types of authors (mystery, humor, children's, romance...the list can go on forever), there are many types of technical writers. Some of us document software, some document hardware. Some have little to do with computers at all (did anyone actually visit Amber's company website before she left?).
I document the software development lifecycle in a biotech firm. My previous background in genetic research was in 1970, when I fed cats and cleaned litterboxes in a genetic research lab that more closely resembled Mendel than the scientists I work with. (Animal lovers note: The cats were simply bred to compare dominant and recessive traits. No animals were abused, and all were loved.)
My skill set? B.A. in mathematics, with minors in psychology, computer science, and traffic safety education. Careers (from earliest to present) as toilet paper inspector, power sewing machine operator, data entry operator, substitute teacher, college professor, free-lance technical writer, contract tech writer, to my present career.
Even my tech writing career has covered many aspects of the profession, although I have always specialized in software development lifecycle.
I love what I do, and plan on doing it for a good many more years.
Washington State Coordinator, Tombstone Project
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