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.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Since others aren't biting, I thought I might. Whomever is putting
that page/resource idea together is welcome to add my response to the
> 1) What type of writer are you? What type of work do you do?
The best term to describe me at this stage of the game is content
strategist. I help companies make sense out of all of their content
needs, from design and development to publishing and deployment to
multilingual markets. I look at workflows, authors, technologies,
audiences, formats, and use metrics along the way to inform
> 2) How did you enter your field?
I went to school for communication, landed a job as a translation
typesetter (back when we were still using hot wax, knives, and rollers
to produce camera-ready proofs), and quickly moved on into what is now
known as the User Assistance (Help authoring) 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?
It really depends on what kind of technical writer they want to be.
They should study not only writing and rhetoric, but also classes
within the domain they want to work (comp sci, bio med, engineering,
> 4) Do you have any suggestions for how to get a job in your field?
These days? Prayer. ;-) Seriously though, make connections through
your school, intern, and don't be afraid to take a tangential job out
of school so long as you can apply what you do to your ultimate goal.
> 5) If a student would like more detail, are you comfortable being
> contacted directly?