Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication - the drawbacks

Subject: Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication - the drawbacks
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 11:38:24 -0400

Sorry for jumping in late.


Years ago, IBM called many of their technical writers Information Developers, sort of in line with they Software Developers.

Goodyear Aerospace had both Technical Writers and Procedure Writers.

McDonnell Douglas called theirs Technical Data Engineers. They had some called Work Control Document Analysts for their procedure writing in some areas.

Most places seem to have Technical Writers but Procedure Writers stand out in the Nuclear industry.



Many industies and businesses today have applied Technical Writer to anyone doing work they consider technical, versus what most have considered technical for decades, like electronics, computers, avionics, mechanical systems, aerospace, and so on. As such, because there are "techincal specs" in architecture, the building industry now hires technical writers, however, most are way down the scale of technical expertise we normally associate with true technical writers. They also seem to be paid very low, like $10 to $15 an hour on contracts and under $10 an hour if salaried. They basically embody the "technical secretary" sort of person from decades ago, in that often they are expected to do the office clerical work, department typing, department correspondence, and so on.




Here is the drawback of all this that I see.

If your resume has you as an Information Developer, and you worked in software on C++ or Java manuals, you get calls from recruiters looking for software deveolpers who have experience in C++ and Java. You won't get writing calls.

If you have Information Engineer or Data Engineer, you get calls about engineering positions in the IT field, and the requirements of the job frequently have CCNA, CCNE, or other ceritfication needed. You won't get writing calls.


If you have Technical Communicator only, you never get any calls for Technical Writer postions unless the recruiter searches for "technical writing" or "writing" and you mentioned that in the job description, because the recruiter has no idea what a technical communicator, Information Developer, or even a Technical Writer does. He just knows his client is looking for one.

Most of us know what they are, but the recruiter won't. And you need him to know what you are if you want a job.

Yes, we could go down an entirely new path on the ineptness of the current generation of headhunters, but that can be another thread.



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References:
Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)
Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Peter Neilson
Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Peter Neilson
RE: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Andrew Warren
Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Post on Technical Writing vs. Technical Communication: From: Keith Hood

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