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.
> >I have to wonder at the logic of automatically throwing someone in the
> >reject pile simply because they chose to learn to be a technical writer.
> >I'm interested in lots of things, and it would have been silly for me to
> >attempt to get degrees in all of them. Or to narrow my scope by only
> >picking one of them. If I were following Mark's advice, I would have to
> >get a medical degree because of my interest in medicine, a degree in
> >history because of my interest in history, degrees in criminology and
> >forensics and religion and art and music and... you get the idea.
> The difference is that studying history or psychology gives you a way of
> looking at the world. The lasting value of a traditional liberal arts
> college major is not the book learning -- when was the Battle of 1812-- but
> the fundamental question you ask in understanding the world around you.
> Whereas a technical writing major, like any professional training, teaches
> how to do something. It's akin to medical school (or any trade school),
> not an undergrad biology major.
I would choose someone who has studied audience analysis, communication
and writing styles, information distribution media, public speaking, copy
editing, project management, and so on (all topics I studied as a tech.
writing major) over someone who got a history degree, found that there's
no work for people with history degrees, discovered that there is money
in technical writing, and said "Hey, I know how to write. How difficult
could technical writing be?"