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Subject:Re: NEW QUESTION From:Matthew Wong <wong -at- ACEC -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 3 Mar 1994 12:09:26 PST
On Thu, 3 Mar 1994 08:24:22 -600 TERESA DIANE STUBBS wrote:
> * What are your job responsibilities?
My present job responsibilities are:
* Produce and update documentation (user's manual, reference manual,
training workbooks) that explains the software my company develops and
sells. In previous jobs, I had to produce software development
documentation (in accordance with government specs, such as
MIL-STD-2167A). The documentation includes titles like Software
Requirements Specifications and Software Detail Design.
* Develop on-line documentation and help (such as the Windows Help
facility) for the developed software.
* Training and demo: Now and then I get sent out to provide training or to
demonstrate the software to a potential customer.
* Configuration management: keep track of documentation we generate and
hope to God that our documentation corresponds to the developed software.
* In previous tech writing jobs, my responsibilities included proposal writing,
and (I'm sure I'm not the only tech writer who's done this) programming
(some companies use tech writers to program because we tend to be
cheaper than programmers).
> * What makes you qualified for your job (i.e. degree or experience)?
I believe I was hired for my present job because of my experience rather
than my education. But it was my English degree that got me into this field
(or perhaps I stood in the wrong line that day so long ago).
> * What would you recommend that TW majors do to best prepare
> themselves for the career of technical writing?
* get your degree
* take tech communication class(es)
* get an internship/summer job as a tech writer or a job that allows you to
work with a tech writer, ideally a job that requires you to work with datelines
* take one or two programming classes
* if possible, learn to use a desktop publisher (such as FrameMaker) or
word processor (Wordperfect, Word)
* if you work for a small company, be ready to be flexible
* know your grammar (you'll be answering grammatical questions from your
coworkersthe rest of your life)
* buy lottery tickets or marry rich :>) (there's got to be an easier way to
make a living)