Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 00:56:49 EST

Diane said:

>My question to Ginger is, would you have taken these courses even if
there were no certification

My answer, Diane, would be "yes." I didn't go back to school to get
the certification--I didn't even
know that the program existed at the time. I actually took an intro
tech writing course and knew
that I had found something that turned me on. I liked it so much
that I wanted more. I had taken all but
the last two courses for the certification requirements, so I just
said, "What the heck, I'll go for it. It
can't hurt, and it just might help."

Right now, the value of the certificate is simply the knowledge I
gained in getting it. I have no way of
knowing if at some point it will cause someone to take a second look
at my resume. Maybe I'll be
granted an interview that I might not have gotten otherwise. Who

Diane said:

<Back to my question to Ginger. I have no problem with the courses
designed to improve the practice
<of technical writing. What I have problems with is the compulsion
to measure technical writing by a
<check list when much of expertise is not capturable by sound bites.

<Am I being overly pessimistic?

I don't know if you are or not, but I see your point. I can fully
understand what I assume many of the talented tech writers on this
list feel about certification. (Such as: "I have an engineering
degree and an advanced English degree and you want me to get a WHAT?

OTOH, it is one of many criteria to determine that applicants aren't
just calling themselves tech writers and have never written anything
more than letters to mom. (My certificate enabled me to compile a
portfolio, at least.) I think, Diane, that if the checklist you
mentioned has everything on it (experience, good recommendations, etc.
), then the certificate will only be a very small part of that

All I have to do is read the TECHWR-L messages for a while to make me
feel REALLY inadequate while I stare at my little certificate.

Ginger Jones
FFKB48A -at- Prodigy -dot- com

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