TW Perceptions

Subject: TW Perceptions
From: "D.R. Ferron" <FerrondD -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 22:08:18 -0400

Hello. I've been following the tech writer responsibilities thread with
interest. This is really a great list and extremely helpful as I am new to
the field.

I recently got a job as a tech writer and one of my first projects was a
marketing brochure for our online help. My other project was a 3D graphic.
Neither of which I knew anything about and I've had to do a lot of research
on my own but it was great fun to do. My first day at work they ordered my
choice of a graphics package for me to work with.

What I really want to know is what is the perception of technical writers?
Last week I met someone at my camera club meeting who asked me normal
get-to-know-you questions: Where did I attend college, What did I do for a
living, etc. Then he asked me if technical writing was what I thought I'd end
up doing. He sounded like I had told him I had gone to med school, law school
and was working as a janitor.

The other thing is that when I interviewed for the job, I asked if there were
many applicants and I was told that the tecnical writing position is the
hardest to fill. We still have two positions open that they are trying to
fill. Over the years I've gone through the classifieds quite a bit and tech
writer positions weren't that plentiful.

I just happened onto this job through a contact and I'm having a great time!
My hours are great and I have time for everything I want to do. Do others
find that they are looked down upon because of their job? I don't see my job
as a piece of cake by any stretch of the imagination. I was an English and
Philosophy major in college, graduated and became an editor at a mutual fund
company and now I'm a tech writer (with a little bit of marketing and graphic
arts thrown in) at a computer software developer. I didn't exactly have the
background for either job and both times I was told that it was preferred
that I didn't have either a finance or computer background.

The general perception of tech writers isn't a major issue for me, I was just


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