RE: Just can't help myself

Subject: RE: Just can't help myself
From: "Johan Hiemstra" <webmaster -at- techexams -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 23:15:12 +0200


>> Great-- one more meaningless certification that doesn't ensure
>> good writing skills added to the list of crap floating around
>> out there.

>It doesn't if it is designed that way and it does if it is designed
that way.

I run one of the world's largest certification communities and all I can
say in regards to the former is "if only that were true". Unfortunately
there's a lot more to making and keeping a certification valuable than
the design (the acts of the certified individuals for example). The
opposite it true as well, certs that are badly designed can still gain a
lot of recognition, fooling employers into thinking that the
certification actually means knowledge or skills (i.e. CompTIA, or as we
like to refer to it "inCompTIA" certifications).

I've been in the certification industry for almost 6 years and I've seen
certification shift from being a badge to confirm your current skills to
a guideline for newbies (nothing wrong with the latter though). What I'm
trying to say is that a CTW certification could be useful to those that
are starting out in the tech writing industry, but (especially after the
Pakistanis, Indian, and/or Chinese go into the test center and
photograph the questions and put them online, as is currently done with
ALL IT certifications... ahhh.. you don't want to know) eventually, it
will be nothing more than "one more meaningless certification that
doesn't ensure
good writing skills added to the list of crap floating around out
there." Unless the examination would contain a practical part, which I
don't see happening.

Work on your portfolio, try to build up a resume, forget about a tech
writer certification, just write and keep writing. I also agree with a
previous poster that a degree in English is your best bet. I plan to get
one of those myself some day (and start contributing to this list in
decent English :P). A certification will saturate the market with
unskilled people who call themselves tech writers and they might up
taking your job just because some nitwit at your HR department sees
'Certified' Technical Writer. I've seen it happen to many times.

It would be nice to be able to get a formal education for technical
writing in particular, but let's not call it a certification, rather a
degree or diploma ;)

"Sign me up to teach it... it'll be great pocket money."
Now that's an attitude that hasn't helped any certification... ;)

Johan


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References:
RE: Just can't help myself: From: John Posada

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