Re: A dark take on Tech you agree?

Subject: Re: A dark take on Tech you agree?
From: "CL T" <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 11:08:26 -0700


Those were some good words about this subject. I would not ever be satisfied
being "just a Tech Writer (or "Typer" as my daughter coins it). I've always
incorporated (or pulled in) as much Multimedia and Project Management as I
could handle into my job. Allows for more diversity, higher pay and greater
negotiating power...not to mention clout and experience.

I believe this piece was a great "real world" view...with a little pessimism
added. Possibly done with the hopes of weeding one or two readers out of the
Field who probably never belonged.


On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

> To a certain extent, yes. The practical, nuts-and-bolts
> aspects of the process - setting document goals,
> balancing time and resources, meeting deadlines,
> handling interactions with busy and possibly less
> than enthusiastic coworkers - all are spot-on.
> Welcome to the real world after graduation. I had
> every single one of these to contend with during
> the 15+ years of my previous career as an engineer.
> The process is called "product development," and it's
> what produces technical things that need to be written
> about. You want to write and not have to deal with
> them? Try writing one of these instead:
> Just be sure to stay away from romance novels or
> writing for television, as I'm told both are a lot like
> technical writing. :)
> As for the more "career oriented" aspects of this, in
> the industries I've worked in, technical writing was
> *never* a "skilled IT field." It has always been, and
> remains to this day. an *engineering* field. Yes, I
> occasionally write an internal document that instructs
> people how to use some IT-related process or system,
> but my primary work involves developing product and
> getting it out the door and into the hands of paying
> customers.
> "Technical writers" are indeed "a dime a dozen."
> *Good* technical writers, who understand the role
> of effective, on-time product documentation in
> supporting profitable product development and
> support processes, are as scarce as hen's teeth.
> Yes, I often hire "technical writers" on a project
> basis and wave goodbye when they've finished
> a project (assuming they make it that far), but
> when I find a *good* technical writer, I funnel as
> much work as possible to him/her until I can justify
> a fulltime hire.
> Yes, nobody is promoted to upper management
> for being a good tech writer. Nobody is promoted
> to upper management for being a good engineer,
> either. You get promoted to upper management
> for being good at lower and middle management,
> and you get good at those by learning to manage
> anything and everything.
> Everybody's career is "a succession of jobs."
> The writer of this sounds to me like someone
> whose dad spent 40 years working on one
> company's assembly line somewhere, and
> thinks it ought to be possible to have a similar
> career but with more advancement by writing.
> If you want to make a life in technical writing
> and advance in it, you must embrace the
> process - *all* of the process, from beginning
> to end, including the constant reaching out for
> new things to add to it. If you think the process
> is "writing," and see everything else that has to be
> done as just a distraction or burden added to writing,
> then this "dark take" on technical writing is correct.
> Get out of the field. Get out as fast as possible.
> Preferably before your resume reaches my desk.
> Gene Kim-Eng
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "CL T" <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>
>> The opinion of one Tech Writer and their advice to aspiring TW's. Do you
>> agree with this dark take on our career?

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A dark take on Tech you agree?: From: CL T
Re: A dark take on Tech you agree?: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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