Re: Getting into technical writng
Yes, you're right...this question has hit the list quite often, but that's
okay...we need replacements periodically...
3. Don't wait to start your portfolio.
Ditto, you'll want a decent portfolio right off the bat. It will be
invaluable in your job search.
4. While you're developing your portfolio, try to learn a variety of
software packages. In particular, learn to use MS Word (paying particular
attention to creating and applying styles and templates, as well as to
control autonumbering and autobulleting, TOC, and indexes), Adobe FrameMaker
(including the paragraph/characters tags, built-in variables, autonumbering,
book feature, indexing, and TOC features), and RoboHelp (generating the
various help systems). You should probably also learn MS Excel, a couple of
HTML editors (Frontpage and DreamWeaver), and Open Office, as well as have a
firm basis in capturing and manipulating screenshots (although you don't
have to be an advance image editor). I once had a professor who talked about
"click time", which is simply time spent working on a computer. The more
time you spend playing around with software, the more confident you'll be
about what you're doing.
Also learn what you can about basic vector drawing programs. It doesn't have
to be as fancy as Illustrator necessarily, but I've found plenty of use for
basic technical drawing skills to illustrate various things, especially if
you document any durable goods. It's good to know how to work with basic
bitmap-type programs as well, for those times you have to make do because
it's all you have to work with. Visio is another good one to know.
That said, don't get too hung up on feeling you need to know all this up
front. All these skills will serve you well, but it's rare that any one job
will demand all of them.
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Re: Getting into technical writng: From: Jeff Hanvey
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