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.
Guy Oliver followed up on Sue Stewart's comments, regarding
what a journalism background might contribute towards tech writ-
I have a degree in journalism, and worked in the field for a few
years before becoming a tech writer. Having a background in jour-
nalism helped me in the following ways (Keep in mind that it was
"broadcast journalism," this impacts some of the answers):
* I learned interview techniques.
* I learned to take rapid and accurate notes.
* I sharpened my writing skills.
* I learned the importance of accuracy.
* I learned to work under tight deadlines.
*I learned the need to write clearly so that the audience would
* I learned about organization of information.
I did -not- learn:
* Software skills
* Blueprint reading (critical to my first two tech writing jobs)
* Engineering functions
* Task analysis and breakdown
* Typography or layout
* DTP skills
* Publication process
I learned lots of helpful stuff, but everything that I needed. I -did-
get to interview Robert Dole, George Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Bill Bradley,
but so far that hasn't helped me in tech writing.
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com