Re: More about the changes coming to tech writing

Subject: Re: More about the changes coming to tech writing
From: Hannah Drake <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 15:34:14 -0400

I'll expand on this a bit as someone who just turned 30. Even without the
aforementioned family and so on and so forth, most of us are carrying
pretty hefty student debt loads, which takes a nice bite out of take-home
pay.

If someone said to me, Hannah there is this awesome tech writing conference
coming up in Cali, I'd be like cool! Then they'd tell me it's several
hundred dollars, and I'd laugh. No way Jose. I'd rather go to Cali, have
free time, and spend the several hundred dollars on things that enrich my
personal life. If the company was paying for it, sure thing I'd attend and
enjoy it. But travel budget is low for all, and as we read about in one of
the articles about the future of tech writing, it's hard to justify
spending on a tech writer. I have to battle for purchasing software
upgrades... I wouldn't dare ask the company to send me to a conference.




On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 3:02 PM, McLauchlan, Kevin <
Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:

> Conferences are expensive, except for people who live, at least in the
> State, if not in the city, where the conference is held.
>
> Your first two paragraphs inform your third.
>
> If people are getting into techpubs in their late twenties or early
> thirties (second career), they are still early in earning power -
> especially if they stepped sideways and lost some seniority, or even took a
> wee dip in compensation to get into the new-to-them field - AND they are in
> the young-family stage, probably with recent mortgages, so they have no
> discretionary income. If, as somebody else pointed out, there are no more
> training and professional-development budgets from employers, then the
> entire cost (including the limited vacation days available when one doesn't
> yet have seniority) is born by the writer. Either you spend those two
> weeks taking the family to Disney World (well, a few days driving there,
> and a few days driving back, 'cuz you can't afford to fly all five of you),
> or you spend one of those precious weeks at a conference. And you pay for
> your accommodation and conference expenses with what would have been the
> money for your family's hotel, food, and Disney day-passes. Those who
> understand how limited is the window to spend "quality time" with the kids
> and spouse, decide against the conference.
>
> If they are getting into techpubs after their thirties, then well... they
> are already starting to resemble "the average age at conferences is getting
> older".
>
> The above two paragraphs explain the demographic that you see, in large
> part.
>
> The other large part is that so many people, but especially the younger,
> just assume that conferences are... or should be... webinars and podcasts
> and such. Who needs to travel?
> Hell, if they got some academic credentials to help them make the career
> jump, chances are that much (all?) of the class time was on-line distance
> learning, so they are already primed to expect on-line stuff, as opposed to
> inconvenient, travel-to, expensive, live conferences.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon Burton
> Sent: May-06-14 12:26 PM
> To: 'Milan DavidoviÄ'; 'Dan Goldstein'
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: More about the changes coming to tech writing
>
> Yes, the flaws are Tech Comm has always been a second career (in the 20+
> years I've been in it). I've been teaching tech comm for 16 years and
> almost all my students have always been working professionals who are
> looking to change careers or get actual training in that they fell into.
>
> Our field has always been skewed to over 35 (again for the 20+ years I've
> been in it). Expecting us to be a bell curve is unrealistic, as most people
> do not enter this field from college as accounting people do. It's not the
> demographic of our field.
>
> That said, the average age at conferences is getting older, as the people
> who are younger in our field seem to not be attending as often. That's an
> interesting problem that organizations are looking at - how to engage the
> younger/new people to value conferences.
>
>
> sharon
>
> Sharon Burton
> 951-369-8590
> www.sharonburton.com
> Twitter: sharonburton
> Author of 8 Steps to Amazing Webinars,
> available on Amazon and bn.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:
> techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
> Milan Davidovic
> Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 8:50 AM
> To: Dan Goldstein
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: More about the changes coming to tech writing
>
> Or, can anyone point out flaws in the analysis?
>
> --Milan DavidoviÄ
>
> Sent from my Commercial Visible 6
>
>
> On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- cytomedix -dot- com>
> wrote:
> > But does anyone have any *data* to suggest that the number of tech
> writing jobs will decrease?
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*Hannah Drake *Documentation and Rock Maker Product Manager
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References:
More about the changes coming to tech writing: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: More about the changes coming to tech writing: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: More about the changes coming to tech writing: From: Milan DavidoviÄ
RE: More about the changes coming to tech writing: From: Sharon Burton
RE: More about the changes coming to tech writing: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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