RE: Tech Comm Survey

Subject: RE: Tech Comm Survey
From: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 15:44:19 -0700

1. How long have you been a technical communicator?

20 Years

2. Have you noticed changes in software programs that you use? Explain

Started out on IBM PC using Samna Word Processor. Didn't even have a
TOC generator!
Then we got more sophisticated with better word processors and DTP
software. Also did some mainframe help which was text-based.
Later used Frame and RoboHelp.
Mostly use Word, Visio, Excel now for templates and document for
internal IS processes.

3. Have you noticed a change in salary? Explain briefly.

Mostly my salary has gone up until the last year. One time I did take a
job at a lower billing rate for the opportunity to use RoboHelp when it
was new. Last year I took a dive in pay due to the economy but now I am
starting a new job as a Business Analyst which is paying over my highest
rate as a Tech Writer.

4. Do the tasks that you complete now vary from what you did when you
working in this field? Explain briefly.

Yes, I used to write more software manuals. Now I write more internal
documents such as process documentation and training. I do more
coordination and project management tasks. I used to spend more time
writing, now I spend about half my time writing.

5. How many times have you changed jobs or relocated?

I have stayed in Arizona the whole time; however, I have mostly
contracted so by an informal count I have worked at about 15 different
gigs. My average stay is a year, however, this last gig lasted 4 years
or so and looked like it could go on quite some time but I left for
higher pay.

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