RE: Regarding a Career in Techical Writing

Subject: RE: Regarding a Career in Techical Writing
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:08:24 -0800


I first encourage you to pursue the vocations and interests that please
you the most. If you like being a technical writer, then by all means do
it. I was a software engineer once, and changed to being a technical
writer. I am very happy I did!

My background:

I attended an American liberal arts college, at which one was expected
to write well. I therefore thought I was a good writer, certainly good
enough to be a technical writer without additional training.

I was wrong.

Although I was doing well in a technical writing position, I decided to
go back to school to get a "certificate" in Technical Writing from a
local university. I graduated last year with the certificate, from San
Jose State University (San Jose, California) Professional Development

In that course of study, I learned much about grammar (how to write
correctly), rhetoric (the fundamental art of expository writing), and
editing (organization, critiquing, and clarifying). I also learned how
to do interviewing and research, how to write various types of material,
and how to use various technical writing tools.

I think my choice was absolutely correct. Regardless of one's knowledge,
regardless of one's desire to communicate and "flair" for it, one needs
criticism and learning to be a good writer. I don't think a "crash"
course will suffice for this, although it might be a practical first
step. You should commit yourself to a lifetime of learning and practice
in writing.

If you intend to do technical writing in English, and if your first
language was not English, or if you do not have to depend on your
English speaking and writing skills, then you will have to work harder
to become a really good technical writer. I say this because your
message suggests to me that you are not yet completely fluent in
English. Fluency is all relative, but a technical writer must strive to
be a leader. Technical writers must write with extreme accuracy and
clarity, and owe it to themselves and their audience to be the very

I am not sure what your IT background is, but if you have technical
skills and knowledge in software or hardware, your prospects are quite


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 3:39 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Regarding a Career in Techical Writing

Hi All,

I'm working as Technical writer from past one year for an IT
organisation. We work only on RoboHelp. I would like to continue my
career in Technical writing in long run.. Can anyone please guide me to
how one can improve on his/her writing skills..
Is it required for me to take up any course or continue my education??
Now am persuing graduation in Information Technology.

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