RE: Technical Writing Certifications

Subject: RE: Technical Writing Certifications
From: "John Rosberg" <jrosberg -at- interwoven -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 13:00:04 -0500

There are hundreds of organizations that promise to teach you management
(skills in which you can train most anyone -- spreadsheet manipulation,
report generation, putting checkmarks into boxes) --

There are scores of organizations that will claim to teach "leadership"
(which is tougher to define, and, of course, tougher to teach) --

Copying "good" managers is one technique that most always works --

A colleague of mine and I have been kicking around the following idea
for some time -- offering a civilian version of NCO (non-commissioned
officer) training --

- make a decision
- be prepared to revisit said decision when new facts are available
- respect your people
- respect their contributions
- take good (great) care of your folks
- explain why what they are asked to accomplish is important
- don't ask them to do something you are not prepared to sign up for
- you're the first up in the morning and the last to sleep at night

Simplistic, and somewhat out of context, but applicable, I believe.

As others have said, "technical writers" have such varied duties and
responsibilities that a blanket certification program would either be of
little value, or would take decades to prepare for (the guy that writes
instruction on how to mop the floor in a drug company lab and the woman
who produces API guides for a software company are both technical
writers, for instance).

I've watch many proposals for Technical Communicator Certification
Programs surface -- but I've yet to see one that was useful, in my

YMMV, of course.


-----Original Message-----
From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:46 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Technical Writing Certifications

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Posada" <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> However, if you are lookikng to manage a group;, you are hit with so
> required skills other than writing, that certification give you a leg
> on those skills.

I wish I could say that there was some training that helped
me as I became a manager, but unfortunately most of it was
gobbledygook. For better or worse, I got to be whatever kind
of manager I am by (a) copying the "good managers" I worked
for as an individual contributor and (b) making a lot of

Gene Kim-Eng


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Re: Technical Writing Certifications: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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