Re: Fair wage

Subject: Re: Fair wage
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 10:20:25 -0800

Bruce Brill wrote:
>> How much is 15 years technical (but not user's-manual) writing
>> experience as an independent alternative energy engineer
>> (with an MSc) worth
>> in terms of technical writing experience in a computer
>> software firm.

And Jane Bergen answered:
>Unless the engineer (you?) is also a fine writer and unless he/she
>knows something about software development, the engineer should be
>only entry-level.

For my two cents, I have to agree with Jane. A senior position
really requires industry-specific experience *and* experience
with the kinds of problems you run into while writing and
publishing software manuals. If you could demonstrate a fair
amount of proficiency with software and show some book-length
samples in your portfolio, then maybe you'd have a chance at

One major flaw in your experience as an engineer is your lack
of experience with SMEs -- at least I'm assuming that you've
been your own subject matter expert. Getting information out
of other people, as opposed to getting it out of your own head,
is a skill that takes time to develop.

OTOH, if you start with software that deals in some way with
alternative energy sources, you've got an advantage that could
command you more money. Then, when you move to other software
companies, you have the requisite experience and can hire in
for more.

You don't say where you are, so it's hard to guess at actual

Susan W. Gallagher Manager, Technical Publications
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com Expersoft Corporation, San Diego CA

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