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.
Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM> writes about somebody that Shelly LaRock
> He may be correct in that you don't really need a degree,
He *is* correct. Several contributors to TECHWR-L are gainfully
employed as tech writers and don't have degrees. I'm one. QED.
> but I disagree that anyone who *likes* to write can be a tech
> Liking to write has nothing to do with the ability to communicate
> clearly and effectively to the various target audiences with which
> we deal!!
Here I disagree. Liking to write has *everything* to do with the
ability to communicate in writing.
If you don't like what you're doing, you're probably not going to be
very good at it, at least not for long. Not to mention that your
co-workers won't find you very pleasant to work with.
> > He said that anyone who wants to be a tech
> > writer should have some other skills to fall back on,
> > since the need for tech writers isn't very high.
> That was an extremely rude comment of his to make!
Why is it rude? Having "other skills to fall back" is good advice for
*anyone* these days, not just tech writers. With the pace of
technology, whole job categories are becoming obsolete in the blink of
Perhaps the need for tech writers isn't very high wherever this person
Nothing particularly rude there. Myopic, maybe.
> Welcome to the real world, Mister!! I don't need any other
Do you honestly think that in ten years you'll still be a "tech
writer," doing the same thing you're doing today? Five years?
> BTW, where was this guy employed? Do you know? I mean, besides
> obviously living in a cave! <grin>
Like it or not, this guy is (still) representative of most people out
there. And they're not living in caves.
Kelly K. Hoffman Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division, Nashua, NH
kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com "Reading the manual is admitting defeat."