RE: Jobs before techwriting and career moves after

Subject: RE: Jobs before techwriting and career moves after
From: "HALL Bill" <bill -dot- hall -at- tenix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 10:49:22 +1100 (EDT)

Answering both of Scott Abel's questions in one hit.

Jobs before:

I began as an evolutionary biologist with a background in physics, and
graduated with my PhD about time the baby bust following the baby boom
hit the universities (very similar demographics to the dot com bust!).
After several years teaching in no-hope jobs and reaching total burnout
I discovered personal computing. After a couple of years scrounging via
word processing services, training, computer literacy, and computer
journalism I ended up a one man techwriting/marcom shop for a 5-10
person software house producing multi-user business applications on a
concurrent CP/M Z80 platform (that dates me!). Graduated from there to
running a two person TW shop for a building society becoming a small

Basically, people can get into TW with virtually any kind of background
as long as they are keen to understand how things work, willing to do
some research, and are literate users of the language.

Jobs after:

After being a TW key tapper, I moved to documentation
coordination/configuration management and documentation systems analysis
and development for Australia's largest defence contractor, where I am
now helping to build the corporate knowledge management strategy and
working with web portals, content management systems and culture and
process issues as well. I also seem to be moving back into the academic
world - and can see the possibility that that might again be my
full-time occupation.

Where professional futures for techwhirlers is concerned, I do believe
that there is a very natural progressing from the job of assimilating
information into knowledge, to managing the production, preservation,
use and reuse of all kinds of knowledge. Knowledge management is a path
that can lead as high as you wish to go in a large corporate hierarchy -
i.e., CKO at the executive level.

As others such as Andrew Plato and Goober have already said, to graduate
in this direction you need to understand the technologies you write
about, the technologies you use, the environments both are used in, and
why you want to use them. This can all be on-the-job learning if you
look at your writing as a learning experience rather than just as a
means to put bread on the table.


Bill Hall

Documentation Systems Analyst
Head Office, Engineering
Tenix Defense
Williamstown, Vic. 3016
Phone: 03 9244 4820
Email:bill -dot- hall -at- tenix -dot- com

Honorary Research Fellow
Knowledge Management Lab
School of Information Management & Systems
Monash University
Caulfield East, Vic. 3145
Phone: 03 9903 1883
Email: william -dot- hall -at- infotech -dot- monash -dot- edu -dot- au



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