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.
I work in downtown Boulder, and thought I'd chime in. I want to agree with
what Paul Strasser said, and so as not to get chided by the list-dad, I'll
add some of my own observations. <g>
Boulder has its own "norms" as far as dress code and work schedule, which is
not to say that the employers don't dicated a mode of dress or 8-5 in the
office schedule. I would guess that the majority of Boulder employers are
more lax on business dress for those who are not directly interacting with
customers - and even for those who are. As Paul said, there's some people I
know who didn't bother to dress up, even for their interviews, who hold
high-level, high-paying jobs in the computer industry out here. The
"culture" here is generally low key and laid back, at least on the surface.
(There are lots of highly motivated career professionals whose laid back
image helps a lot with their jobs, yet they still get amazing amounts of
I also think that if telecommuting won't work for your situation, unless you
find the absolute perfect candidate who won't work without that option,
don't offer it. I would caution, though, that you may want to try to be
flexible (after a certain time period, perhaps?), and consider allowing the
person you hire to work from home, since some people do work better that
way. Maybe, rather than saying an outright no when asked, you can say
maybe? I'll tell you, I work totally in the office, 8-5 weekdays. It's
probably possible that there is a way for me to telecommute, but unless I
work up a plan and OK it with my supervisor, it won't even be considered.
I can't tell you too much about the pay scale - this is my first
specifically tech writing job, though I've been a professional in Boulder
and the surrounding areas for about six years (wearing other hats, as my old
boss used to say). I'd suggest that you check out what some other companies
are offering, and maybe check the STC salary survey. I generally doubt that
tech writers can "write their own ticket" here (unlike programmers or
engineers) unless they're highly specialized. Then again, see the caveat
At any rate, I'm not sure that was a great expansion on a "me, too", but I
hope it helps. And as Paul said, I'd be glad to chat with you one on one if
you want - feel free to mail me directly.
Resource Data International
Boulder, CO USA
sthompso -at- resdata -dot- com
"All that I've learned, I've forgotten. The little I still know, I've
guessed." - Chamfort