Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 23:23:49 GMT

Deus vult!!! Another holy war is in the making.

RE: Certification

I think it was STC themselves who decided figuring out the acceptance
criteria for a certification problem ranks right up there with being the

My own .02 on the issue: There are too many different, -specialized- skills
necessary to have a single certification program work. I think programs
that specialize in tech writing are great. I wish there had been one
when I went to college (although I =loathed= technical writing in
college). I'm not sure certification after the fact proves anything.
Even with the best background, experience still is the best teacher for a
technical writing career. There are just too many variables for a
"generic" program to work. That said, I think the needed skills are the
ability to understand a technical topic, the ability to analyze a
process, the ability to communicate with your audience, and PATIENCE.
(Writing skills should be obvious, but aren't)

RE: Having certification be an automatic trigger for respect.

No, I don't think it will help. Those lovely individuals who feel that
any idiot can write, won't change their minds--even if presented with an
Ph.D. in technical writing. They don't understand what technical writing
is--and they don't care to learn. For the rest of the world, again,
experience pays off. If you are a good technical writer-editor, and if
you can get some of your customers convinced of it, =they= will do more
good for your reputation than a certificate.

And before those of you with degrees decide I don't understand you, I
have an MA in English Lit and Writing and I =do= understand the degree
vs. experience holy war.

Everyone who has a different viewpoint, Dieu et mon droit.

Nancy Lynn Hayes | "May your dreams be merry and bright
(nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov) | and may all your Christmasses be white."
(OV: NHAYES) | -- White Christmas

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