Re: beginning techwriting

Subject: Re: beginning techwriting
From: George Hinman <techwriter -at- MY-DEJANEWS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 13:46:37 -0000

See my numbered responses below:


On Mon, 1 Feb 1999 11:33:48 smith wrote:
>Hello TECHWR-Lers TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU,
>I'm new to the list and I am interested in 'BREAKING' into the techwriting
>profession. My background is the social sciences (BA and MA). I have
>minimal computer skills but a strong interest in learning more about
>computing (web and D-top pub.)and technical writing.
>1.) How difficult is it to gain employment in techwriting coming from a
>non-related discipline?

Answer 1.) I and many of my colleagues have entered techwriting from different disciplines. I have a doctorate in linguisitics and German and came from an academic background.

>2.) What applications should I begin to learn for an entry-level
>techwriting job?
Answer 2.) I would say that at a minimum you should become very familiar with the latest version of MS Word for Windows, (not the best writing tool, but most commonly used) and download the free Winhelp compiler and learn to how to write online help. Often Robohelp is used for this, but is very expensive for an individual to purchase.

>3.) I only have social science related writing samples, can anyone suggest
>ways to get
>tech-writing samples in order to build up a portfolio?

Answer 3.) I had no technical writing samples, although I had done some technical translation from German into English. Working for a temporary agency should provide you with the opportunity to build your portfolio.
>4.) I am looking for a training position or entry level work in Denmark,
>is there anyone on
>the list from Copenhagen or have experience or information about the
>techwriting mkt. here?
There is a German techwriter who appears on this list, he may have more specific information about the European technical writing field, Alexander von Obert, if you do a search on dejanews, you should find some of his posts.

>Any other constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
>Thanks for your help,
>From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

Hope this helps
George Hinman
ghinman -at- jerviswebb -dot- com
Technical Writer

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

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