TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
1. How long have you been a technical communicator?
9 years -- I think I'm one of the few that chose it as my major in college.
2. Have you noticed changes in software programs that you use? Explain
Not much for me. I used FrameMaker and RoboHelp in college and continue to
use them. However, I think I use them more wisely now and understand how to
make them work for me better.
3. Have you noticed a change in salary? Explain briefly.
I noticed a change after the DOT COM crash. I also noticed a changed when I
moved from Boston to Los Angeles. Technology (and the profession of
technical writers especially) isn't as prevalent here in LA and I found that
I had to work harder at negotiating my required salary -- & that's when I
found positions that even paid in my required salary range!
4. Do the tasks that you complete now vary from what you did when you began
working in this field? Explain briefly.
Yes, originally almost 100% of my time was authoring user guides and Help.
Now, I spend about 40% of my time managing projects and analyzing business
requirements in addition to writing the user docs.
5. How many times have you changed jobs or relocated?
I've relocated once -- voluntarily. I've had 7 jobs, including 4 contracts
in 2003/2004 alone.
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