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Subject:Re: Telecomm writing vs. Software writing From:"Mason, Catheryn" <CMason -at- INFINITEC-COM -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 15 Jun 1999 10:51:55 -0500
In response to the post by Anonymous, Joe Schrengohst responded, in part:
1. The qualities needed to "succeed in the telecom environment"
are the same as those needed to succeed in any environment;
interest, enthusiasm, effort, and ability.
2. The "mindset" you need is "I want to learn about this field"
and, yes, it does involve a certain amount of "engineering," but
it is definitely not rocket science or brain surgery.
My two cents: I now work in telecom and I moved into this field from the
health care field (and into that field from the philanthropic and charitable
giving world). I absolutely agree with Joe's comments. Like any new field,
you have to learn a new set of concepts, tasks, jargon, etc. The most
important thing, in this or any field, is learning the right questions to
ask, and these vary from field to field, company to company, and job to job.
Yes, sometimes I was frustrated by my lack of an engineering background, but
at times this "newness" to the field really helped me -- it made me a good
user advocate, I think, and since I write end-user documentation that was
important. And it also occasionally helped some of the engineers and product
developers -- by explaining a feature to me beginning in very simple terms
and building on that basic explanation, they could sometimes recognize flaws
or inconsistencies in the process of getting from the basic concept to
high-level functionality. So, would it have been nice to have telecom
experience? Absolutely. But like Joe says above, the telecom world is not
"rocket science or brain surgery," and after all, we are trained to learn
and communicate new information. I'd say, if you want to make the move, by
all means do so. Check out some of the resources that others have mentioned
in their responses (like Newton's Telecom Dictionary, and so forth), and
forge ahead. Good luck to you.
Catheryn Mason, Technical Writer
cmason -at- infinitec-com -dot- com
(918) 481-5300 x280
fax: (918) 877-4007
Winner, 1999 IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Technical Writing