Oh, no -- the degree wars again!

Subject: Oh, no -- the degree wars again!
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 15:51:39 -0500

>A good writer is someone who is interested in things. I find it hard
>to imagine why someone who has the active interest in things around
>that would make them a good tech writer would not have sought a degree
>some substantial subject area.

I ended up with a writing degree because I was interested in everything,
but couldn't get a degree in everything (I did try ;-). I started off in
biomedical engineering/premed, switched to comp sci, then fell into
writing. After graduation, I did some post-grad work in physics (for
fun!) Did lots of liberal arts stuff in school, too -- working class
literature, 18th century feminism, gender studies, political film, etc.
Since I left school, I've continued reading, taking classes, exploring
new areas, etc.

The tech writers I admire have two traits in common: they are curious
and they are excellent writers. Their degree--or whether they have a
degree at all--doesn't matter one whit. Oh, yes--they tend to be
slightly eccentric, too.

An interesting, and slightly related, note: In our STC newsletter,
Michael Harvey did a statistical analysis of the Carolina Chapter's 1997
salary survey and found that only experience predicted salary (in 1994,
experience and education predicted salary).

Anyway, I think most of these flame wars end up boiling down to "don't

Alexia Prendergast
Tech Pubs Manager
Seagate Software (Durham, NC, USA)
mailto:alexiap -at- seagatesoftware -dot- com

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