Re: Senior Tech Writers Needed in San Ramon, CA.

Subject: Re: Senior Tech Writers Needed in San Ramon, CA.
From: Donald Le Vie <dlevie -at- VLINE -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 08:46:37 -0500

The education/experience requirements my employers look for change from
industry to industry. For example, when I was hiring Sr. TWs for the
microprocessor design and mfg. industry, I wanted candidates with a minimum
B.A./B.S in English, Communications, Technical Communications, or
physical/engineering science (M.S. preferred), minimum 7 years experience in
fast-paced, multitasking environment documenting digital electronic
components, etc. Now, I'm hiring Sr. TWs to support eCommerce software
development with these education/experience requirements: B.A./B.S in
English, Communications, Technical Communications, or technical degree
(applicants with technical degrees must be able to demonstrate an excellent
grasp of technical writing skills), 5-7 years experience writing software
user documentation, and so on.

Motorola (my former employer) has recently implemented the practice of
hiring applications engineers to write their microprocessor documentation.
The only non-engineering requirement is "an excellent command of the English
language," which says nothing about technical writing skills. There's no
mention of online help skills, HTML knowledge, or any of the other value-add
dimensions that experienced, trained TWs brought to the positions.

Donn Le Vie
Integrated Concepts

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brierley, Sean [SMTP:Brierley -at- QUODATA -dot- COM]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 1999 8:34 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Senior Tech Writers Needed in San Ramon, CA.
> Hallo:
> I am not sure how often the subject of what it takes to be a tech writer
> has
> come up, but it has. I suspect all companies use some kind of filter to
> try
> to narrow the kinds of resumes received and to ease the interview process.
> The last time I, personally, advertised for a technical writer, I
> requested
> a B.A. or B.S. in English or related field as a minimum. The related field
> language was discretionary. For a software company, had I received an
> application from someone with a computer-science degree who claimed to be
> a
> writer, I'd have taken a longer look. I would have also looked long and
> hard
> at an applicant who claimed writing experience in lieu of education.
> I use a degree minimum as a filter. While I agree there are those without
> college degrees and those with non-English, non-writing degrees who can
> write well, I fully expect to find more able writers in the group of
> applicants who meet those requirements. Further, by looking for someone
> with
> a college degree, I am looking for an applicant who has undergone the
> college regimen with it's paper writing, theory, studying, and deadline
> requirements, et al. By looking for someone with an English or writing
> degree, I am looking for someone with an interest in the language,
> wordsmithing, and tech writing in general. I am looking for an applicant
> who
> is at least somewhat committed to the field and who will not jump ship to
> go
> do something more in line with other interests. These thoughts are not
> foolproof, but the B.A./English/writing/ related field degree does tell
> the
> applicants what I want and it helps me get a better handle on the
> resume-receiving, reviewing, interviewing, and hiring process.
> So, if you have no degree, or if your degree is completely unrelated, then
> your resume, experience, or something else has to jump out and speak for
> you
> in your absence. If that happens, you must also interview well, or better
> than those with the requisite degrees.
> In the end, I must heartily support the intelligent use of such filters by
> an employer.
> All the best.
> Sean
> sean -at- quodata -dot- com
> >>>-----Original Message-----
> >>>From: Terri Winters [mailto:twinters -at- ONDISPLAY -dot- COM]
> >>>>
> >>>Tony,
> >>>
> >>>Can you believe this guy? I post and ad and this guy wants
> >>>to know why I
> >>>want someone with an English degree. . . . I guess he has a
> >>>lot of free
> >>>time.
> >>>
> >>>Just curious. . . is this something that is a hot debate
> >>>topic on this list?
> >>>
> >>>-Terri
> >>>
> >>>> -----Original Message-----
> >>>> From: Joe Schrengohst [SMTP:jschreng -at- cisco -dot- com]
> >>>> Terry,
> >>>>
> >>>> Can you tell us why your HR department feels that a "BA/BS
> >>>degree in
> >>>> Journalism, English, or related field" is the
> >>>quintessential qualification
> >>>> of a "Senior Technical Writer"?
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=
> =

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

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