Breaking into Technical Writing

Subject: Breaking into Technical Writing
From: "Megan E. McMacken" <megan -dot- mcmacken -at- FANUCROBOTICS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 15:08:37 -0500

A friend of mine is interested in breaking into the technical writing field.
He graduated from high school about ten years ago and recently took a couple
of college classes but decided that the classroom and formal book learning
are not for him. He wants to teach himself how to do technical writing by
reading books on the subject, learning skills like HTML and Javascript, and
eventually getting hired someplace as a writer or HTML author.

He does show natural ability with page layout and design from what I've seen
of the various brochures he has put together for fun and he taught himself
HTML in a couple of days, but I'm not sure how successful he'll be at
teaching himself enough technical writing skills that potential employers
would feel he's qualified for a job.

How many of you within the past five years have started your technical
communication career without any college education and no formal training in
technical writing? Are employers interested in hiring technical writers
without a degree or certificate of any kind?

Megan McMacken

Megan E. McMacken
Technical Writer
Product Development & Documentation
FANUC Robotics North America, Inc.
Voice: (248) 377-7948 FAX: (248) 377-7363
megan -dot- mcmacken -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com

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