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.
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To Bob's point, I sorta found my way into tech writing and wasn't quite
sure I would be good at it. 13 years later, people are still hiring me!
I learned more about writing from editors and peer editing than I did
with any course. Not to say many courses aren't great, but there are
many ways to learn. I've read material written by people with
certifications out the yingyang that has been absolutely horrible.
To supplement any courses you might eventually take, I would also find
an experienced writer or editor through STC and have them perform an
edit on samples of your material. Most editors thrive on helping others
become better writers and explaining why they make the
corrections/suggestions that they do.
My experience for what it's worth.
As a really strange aside...During a graduate course in the history of
human rights, we were given access to the "procedure manual" for death
by lethal injection. I think that is ONE manual where you WOULD NOT want
access to the "application." ;)
Robert J. Landry
Senior Technical Writer
email: robert -dot- landry -at- rapt -dot- com
From: techwr-l-bounces+robert -dot- landry=rapt -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+robert -dot- landry=rapt -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of strickla -at- airmail -dot- net
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:52 AM
To: Adrienne Kelley
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Career change to tech writing
Technical writing is a good profession that you do not need a
certification or degree in technical writing to enter. Although being
through some procedures may be helpful, I believe that you can waste a
of time and money taking courses when you could be pounding the
looking for clients or agencies. I have never been asked if I have a
certificate in technical writing -- all most clients are interested in
what my experience has been.
> Browsing through the recent archives, I can see that it's been *at
> week since a newbie has appeared asking for help, so...consider me
> week's offering. :)
> My background: I have 75% of a BA in journalism, a full BA in
> well as more than 10 years' work experience in a variety of
> functions, including proofreading for a couple of small local papers
> back when. Currently I work for a small insurance trust, where I do
> occasional "technical" writing, including explanatory documentation
> customers, our plan documents, and a company procedure manual. It's
> long road for me to discover technical writing as a doable career
> a quasi-geek; until recently I did not have the proper focus, but now
> do I'm dedicated to going for this with guns a-blazin'.
> Based on the research I've done so far, it seems to me that the best
> to start would be with some "re-education": namely, a certificate
> technical writing and editing. While I feel confident that I can
> experience and skills into transferable assets, I understand (having
> for a time in HR) the importance of appropriate credentials. My
> you all is, am I close to the mark on this? I'm looking into my local
> chapter, as well as open-source and shareware work, but I really
> that an educational program is important, especially for someone
> This is a great website and list, by the way - thanks to all who
> to it, and I look forward to communcating with you in the near future
> peer. :)
> - Adrienne Kelley
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