Re: Breaking into Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Breaking into Technical Writing
From: Melissa Fisher <mfisher -at- AUTOMATEDLOGIC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 16:10:15 -0500


I did have a college degree but no formal training in technical writing
when I got my first technical writing job about 5 years ago. I started as
a secretary for a small branch office of a computer software company, and
by virtue of being in a small branch office, got to know the product and
personnel well enough to convince them to give me a shot at updating a
manual they did not otherwise have staff to do. (My major was in English;
that helped too.) Of course I wouldn't recommend your friend go out and
get a job as a secretary, but it might be a good idea for him to look at
small companies and start-ups, or find a friend that can help him out.

As a potential employer, I would be less concerned with the fact that your
friend doesn't have a degree, than with what he'd been doing for the last
ten years. I don't wish to contribute to the beginning of the degree/no
degree holy wars again, so I'll just say that I'd never immediately
disqualify a candidate because they did not have a degree.

Good luck to your friend!

Melissa Fisher
Automated Logic Corporation
mfisher -at- automatedlogic -dot- com

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