Re: Where did you get your feet wet?

Subject: Re: Where did you get your feet wet?
From: HBacheler -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 09:24:20 EDT

Hi, All,

I started as a teletype operator in the US Air Force. Wrote some procedures
- SOP's - depending on different assignments.

The USAF offered me the opportunity to become a communication systems
programmer, and that is where it began. Program control for six locations,
distributing 'patches' and verifying that the code worked.

Began programming, and having to document the code, both in the code and
formal documentation. Researched comm systems and wrote feasibility studies for
modifications. Developed new software, documented the code, and provided
installation instructions and users guides.

Developed training course material, taught the classes, revised material
based on new information. Reviewed existing training materials and made
appropriate changes. Conducted training and revised material based on course

Developed documentation plans and wrote many of the required documents.
Acted as mentor to new writers, assisted in developing style guides,
indoctrinated other writers in the use of the style guide.

I have had no formal training in the Technical Writing field. Just a lot of
On-the-Job-Training. (OJT).

I have used COBOL line editors, CPT word processors, UNIX nroff/troff
functions, MS Word (since Version 2 for DOS), WordPerfect, Lotus AmiPro, and others.

Do you need to have formal training, yes, but not always. It would have
helped me, but I had to 'learn by doing', and get a lot of 'red-lined' writing
before I began to get none.

In most cases I was the only one who was available.

Sink or Swim - that has been my experience. I have also had the opportunity
to work with. or associate with other technical writers, such as those on
this list, and learned a lot.


Harry M. Bacheler, Jr.
Jack of all trades, Master of several


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