Starting out

Subject: Starting out
From: Jerry STUBBS <stubbs -at- EECS -dot- UKANS -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 16:22:41 -0500

Hello all,
I have just recently subscribed to the Techwriters list to become
more familiar with a possible new career for myself. I am posting
to get advice from all of you capable techwriters about how to
get started.

I have been employed as a computer technician for over 15 years now,
and have been somewhat of an electronics hobbiest for twice that,
but I have some background that might be useful in the technical
writing field.

I didn't persue electronics in school, instead I got a BS Journalism
from the University of Kansas. After a couple of years with various
companies doing catalog writing, layout, color retouching, and ad sales
for a weekly newspaper, I took someone's advice and attended DeVry
tech school for a electronics certificate.

That certificate helped me gain employment with Sperry Univac (eventually
Unisys). I attended a junior college and when there was a huge layoff
five years later I had enough credits for an associate degree in
programming. The job I have here back at the University of Kansas
deals mainly with hardware and networking, however, and COBOL programming
is not so popular anymore.

I'd like to get started doing some freelance/contract technical writing.
I've become familiar with some of the newer software packages, but I need
more experience with some of the bigger, more expensive applications.

Should I persue yet another two year degree ( in technical writing), or
perhaps a four year degree, or should I just spend lots of money on a new
computer and software? WHoops... almost forgot: d) none of the above.




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