RE: Spinoff of: Where did you get your feet wet

Subject: RE: Spinoff of: Where did you get your feet wet
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 12:23:18 -0700


You wrote:

|
| Anthony wrote:
|
| I am a senior studying tech writing in New York, and
| my program is a spinoff of the liberal arts program at
| the school. The only scientific course I really have
| to take is chemistry. I've avoided the required C++
| course.
|
| I've taken mostly writng courses, and a few graphic
| design courses, a usability course and others from the
| required courses list. If I'm looking for a career in
| TWing, am I at a disadvantage if I don't have a
| footing in science/engineering/technology?
|
| Thanks,
| Anthony Hernandez
|

The simple answer is yes, you are. I have found that *many* prospective
tech writers have a writing background. Only a *few* have a technical
background as well. In any field, you'll have more opportunity if you
have more to offer than the "typical" worker.

The real thing to do, though, is to decide what you like to do, and then
go do it. Don't get way into technology if you really like design and
graphics. Instead, decide if you want to do writing for graphic design,
or perhaps do web design or web development. Perhaps you want to do
technical writing for graphics programs or systems.

Perhaps I should say that a "technical" background can mean many things.
If you want to do usability, get into usability. If you want to write
about music, get into music, if you want to write about photography, get
into photography. You're always writing about a particular area. If you
have an area that you really like, then go study that area.

Sounds like you're not much interested in general software or science.
If so, don't go into those areas. Instead, get some software training
(everything uses software these days) but then focus on the area, not
the software. You could find a really great job documenting MIDI
systems, or CAD programs, or end up working in documentation for Pixar!

joe

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