TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Test or no test: the goal is to find a job, to do good job, and to get
money for it;
or: to find a person, get good working results, and pay money to keep the
Just to say: I think there are a lot of tests you have to do, without
explicitly recognizing them as tests.
1. First test is, you have to find a job offer, and to see it is just the
job you want to do and you feel able to do. (It is a test for the company
itself to provide the proper information.) OK, I wanted a job on the area
of software development.
2. Next test is to write the application.
4. Next is to become invited to the interview. (I did not send my
application by mail, but brought it to the office myself.)
5. Next test is the interview.
6. A special test may ore may not follow.
7. In Germany we have a special 3 to 6 month working period to find out, if
the employer and the employee are compatible when working together. In this
period each of the two may say good bye to the other without telling any
In the company I'm working for, I'm writing documentation in English
language (it is not my native language) for example for Norwegians (English
is a foreign language for them too.)
English is the connecting language:
German -- English documentation -- other languages
Without English we could simply not understand each other.
The first two days were my special test, then I could say, I can do the job.
My task is to help the users. I try to avoid spelling errors and other
errors, but mainly to provide information in time.
One of the main tasks is to write in English. So we prepared some special
tests. They include to write some simple procedures in English.
Fortunately I had not to do the test when I came. They just needed urgently
a technical writer who knew enough English and who was familiar with
I included some material into my application: A poetry fanzine I published
before, and a manual about environment database software on German market.
They asked me, If I would be willing to write manuals in English, I tested
myself and said "Yes, I will."
I could not sleep until the Job started, but now I'm working here for 4
years, can sleep again, and hope, the documentation is helpful for the
In my office the main tests for newcomers were language tests to make sure
they can write in English.
Best regards, and have a nice weekend.
Be kindly with my, if I misused any word, and don't damn me for not
allowing my spelling checker to change one empty space to two.