Re: Mid-level TW blues (long)

Subject: Re: Mid-level TW blues (long)
From: Simon North <north -at- SYNOPSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 09:45:12 +0001

<rant>

I have to disagree with Matt about peaking out so soon too.

I came into tech writing from avionics engineering 15 years ago. I
started in aerospace where word processors were just making an
entrance.

I moved to commercial electronics and migrated to large
scale documentation software.

A few years later I moved into commercial tech docs (a third party
docs producer) and learned about database publishing, DTP and markup
(TeX). While on these projects, PCs became serious tools and I
learned to use the Internet (1987). Windows arrived and I learned to
author online help.

From there I went into defense and learned about SGML. I learned
about IETMs, I learned how to develop user interfaces. I spent some
time in software QA and learned the basics of SEI auditing. I learned
HTML and built an Intranet (1992).

I'm now working at the leading edge of EDA software for one of the
best companies in Silicon Valley; I've contributed to three books on
XML and I'm working on a fourth; this time as lead author (Teach
Yourself XML in 21 Days, Sams.Net due out December 16th this year,
after which time I have a LOT of sleeping to catch up with!).

In these 15 years I have been learning, learning, learning. New
skills, new software, new paradigms. Looking back it seems like I've
been on a rollercoaster that just doesn't stop.

Now, I'll agree that this might not be the most exciting job in the
world (sure doesn't compare with my time as a professional skydiver!)
but taken as a profession, I'm pleased to say that challenges abound.
I wouldn't regret for 1 second falling into this profession and I
wouldn't even dare to dream of peaking out within at least the next
10 years. If anything, we are just at the beginning ... now the
Internet really starts to get serious. Now we can start to look
forward to voice-operated systems, to 3D interactive documents (have
a look at what Microsoft are doing with Chrome), to virtual documents
(wake up to XML!); the next few years are going to make the last 5
years of the Internet look like a warm-up session.

Go into management by all means, but don't complain that there's
nothing new to learn ... look around, you'll find there's more out
there than you could hope to cover in five lifetimes!

</rant>

Simon North north -at- synopsys -dot- com sintac -at- xs4all -dot- nl
PGP Fingerprint 97FA 6A6C 1136 A66A 431D 8454 9C16 F677 A4C8 9CE2
"Presenting XML", "HTML4 Unleashed, PRE", "Dynamic Web Publishing Unleashed",
"Teach Yourself XML in 21 Days" (October 1998)

So much stupidity ... so few comets ...

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=




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