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I think your idea is great. This sounds like a great idea for a
profile series on Tech Writer today "Inside the TechComs studio". (I
used that name because TechCom is my twitter handle. ;-) )
Because let's face it: Nobody I know has the time to answer emails
with the appropriate level of detail that would help your students.
And most students who interviewed me didn't have any skin in the game,
so I don't feel like it was the best use of my time.
However, if pros were willing to share their experiences in a common
format, and Al an Connie were interested in posting them on the site,
students could hand pick the tech writers they wanted to review and
suggest the possibility of an in depth interview with specific
This is also a great opportunity to introduce a concept our local STC
chapter started, an informational interview service by voluntary
donation. We offer interested participants the opportunity to
interview a senior level technical writer in person. If the
interviewer would like to donate a small token to the chapter, the
interviewer receives free admission to our next program meeting.
On 2012-04-16, at 2:33 PM, Lonie McMichael <loniemc -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hello, Techwhirlers:
> My name is Dr. Lonie McMichael; I have been a member of Techwr-l on and off
> since 1992. I used to work as a technical writer in the computer industry.
> Right now, I am teaching a course called “Tools for Technical Writers” and
> have given my students an assignment which involves interviewing technical
> writers in the field. You may have seen an email or two from them already.
> They are trying to understand what it will take to break into their chosen
> field of work, the best way they might prepare, and what the REAL job is
> Since you folks taught me how to be a technical writer back in the 90s, I
> thought you might be willing to help these students out. If you are
> comfortable doing so, could you answer the following questions:
> 1) What type of writer are you? What type of work do you do?
> 2) How did you enter your field?
> 3) For students looking to enter the field, what kind of classes would
> you suggest they take? What kind of knowledge would you suggest they
> pursue? What should they know?
> 4) Do you have any suggestions for how to get a job in your field?
> 5) If a student would like more detail, are you comfortable being
> contacted directly?
> So many times, students are given theoretical information, but little
> information about the real life of a technical writer. I’m trying to help
> my students understand the job a bit more.
> Thank you for your time and effort. Any information is appreciated.
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