RE: Breaking into the tech writing job market

Subject: RE: Breaking into the tech writing job market
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Mike Schmidt" <mschmidt -at- weathercentral -dot- tv>, "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 09:47:04 -0700

I agree, there's a wide difference between ignorance and high expertise.

Knowledge is overrated. Most of what we learn becomes outdated, some of
it turns out not to be true! In the software field, of course, today's
hot topic is yesterday's cold spaghetti.

Motivation and learning skills are key. If you're *motivated* to learn
new things, and you learn new things quickly, you do well. In
particular, I think that for some fields you really have to have a love
for the field. I just don't think that tech writers who don't care that
much about software do well documenting it.

I think I'm extremely lucky; I was born a tech nerd. I'm the perfect fit
for high-tech technical writing. For this sort of technical stuff, I am
not satisfied until I know a *lot* more about the subject than I plan to

Of course, I also have to admit that I was born with some language
skills and developed a lot more at an early age. Looking back on my
life, technical writing was *the* thing I should have pursued.

Because I'm a bit lazy, I have currently pursued a career in documenting
software tools for other developers. Since I was a developer once, I
have an interest and feel for the area, and at the moment I'm doing well
in it. I also sympathize with developers, since so much
developer-oriented documentation is so bad!


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
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Mike Schmidt
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 9:32 AM
To: Combs, Richard; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Breaking into the tech writing job market

Ignorance isn't the issue. By having someone show you, the writer,
something you didn't previously understand, you are now no longer
ignorant. You now understand it. But, you are still not necessarily an
expert and you may tend to write it on a level more apt to appeal to
someone else (who also may not be an expert).


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