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.
Subject:Re: certification redux From:Betsy Perry <betsyp -at- VNET -dot- NET> Date:Mon, 16 Jun 1997 16:12:29 -0400
Peter Brown (pbrown -at- mks -dot- com) said:
------- start of forwarded message -------
>It's also an extension of the time-worn squawk from techie programmer
>and engineer types about how they are just so dang smart as a species
>that they can do pretty much anything they put their minds to, up to and
>possibly including brain surgery. If you were looking to hire a
>programmer, would you take the guy who has a B.A. in history and then
>took one C++ night-class course at a community college? Of course not.
Some of the best programmers I know were, in no particular order,
philosophy majors, English majors, and German majors. They took far more
computer science than "one C++ night-class course", and they spent
much of their spare time programming. Similarly, some of the best
writers I've worked with weren't English majors; I recall one star who
was a former high-school Latin teacher, and another who had been a
I don't believe in the idea that your undergraduate major narrows your
employment options for life. I'm more interested in new hires' last
five years of experience than in their college majors. (If they're
straight out of school, of course, the major looms large.)
Philosophers, artists, and poets can be excellent technical writers --
and so can computer scientists.
He went on to say,
>What makes a company strong but flexible is a broad range of skills,
>strengths, and backgrounds in its people.
I thoroughly agree.
Betsy Hanes Perry
Robertson, Stephens & Co.
Elizabeth Hanes Perry betsyp -at- vnet -dot- net