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.
> One of the great things about being a tech writer is that it's a very
> individual experience. Each assignment is different. Each writer is
> different. The tools are different. The requirements are different.
> You get the point. ;)
This is, IMO, one of the fundameltal flaws in what technical writing
has now become, and is a symptom indicative of a larger problem. With
such vast variety we become more of a quick-fix jack of all trades and
not a specialist in a specific industry for a specific purpose.
There's more money and stability in the latter than the former, and
the former makes it easier for competition to come in, and thus the
> I hate certification with a passion. One reason I got out of the
> programming field was that I was repulsed by the very idea of having
> to pay for my own training in all these newfangled apps every time
> Microsoft arbitrarily decided my skills were worthless. Worse yet, I'd
> be competing with people much younger and less experienced, who would
> get jobs over me because they had the piece of paper...and were
> willing to work for less because they had less experience.
Well, I'm neither for or against certification at this point. I want
hard evidence that there's a specific need and I want hard
requirements for what constitutes certification. Until those items
materialize, I can't condone a push for certification.
On another note, I don't see what the reasons you cite have to do with
> Don't get me wrong! I love the idea of learning and bettering my
> skills. I just don't love the idea of being FORCED to do it,
> especially when the net result in terms of better production and
> increased skill is negotiable at best.
Programmers aren't forced to be certified. It can be beneficial, but
it's not required. Same goes for IT folks.
> The best way to become a better tech comm is to WRITE. Write
> constantly. Write everything you can. Review it. Write some more.
> Learn from other writers. Find other assignments to write about.
> Lather, rinse, repeat.
I disagree. Writing is the very minor, mechanical portion of what we
do. The best way to be a better tech writer is to become
industry-savvy (that is, the industry in which you're working as a
writer), more business-savvy (learn what the movers and the shakers
are really looking for in your contribution and leveraging that to
also better the user community you support), and be as
analytically-minded as possible when solving problems with words.
> When it comes down to crunch time and the manual needs finishing, I'd
> rather be the guy who gets it done than the guy with a million
> certificates who doesn't know how to open a Table of Contents in Word
I wouldn't see that ever happening. Certification does not equal
ineptitude, and to suggest that really deteriorates your position on
WEBWORKS FINALDRAFT - EDIT AND REVIEW, REDEFINED
Accelerate the document lifecycle with full online discussions and unique feedback-management capabilities. Unlimited, efficient reviews for Word
and FrameMaker authors. Live, online demo: http://www.webworks.com/techwr-l
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.techwr-l.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.