Re: technical writers by default

Subject: Re: technical writers by default
From: Ken Stitzel <stitzel -at- LVLD -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 20:53:39 GMT

Tracey May (traceym -at- penril -dot- com) wrote:

: I'm curious: How many tech writers set out in the beginning of their
: careers to be tech writers? Is the consensus that those who chose the
: career (as opposed to being chosen by it) are better tech writers? We
: get paid the same.

I think you can gain some advantages by training specifically for tech
writing, but that doesn't necessarily make you a better writer. What makes
anyone a good writer? (Technical or otherwise.)

I started out with a degree in tech writing, and that's what I'm still
doing. But I chose the degree more by default than by planning, which is
another story. Even though I think my writing is better than average, I'm
not the best tech writer: there are other things that go into the job than
just clear writing. You have to organize information, learn quickly, edit,
use software tools, etc.

As near as I can tell, HP usually doesn't usually hire pure tech writers.
They seem to rely on retraining engineers and technicians who show some
writing ability. I'm not sure these folks are any better or worse than
some people that set out to be tech writers.

ken stitzel, not representative of HP or anything, just generating my
own rhetoric

stitzel -at- lvld -dot- hp -dot- com

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