Re: Where did you get your feet wet

Subject: Re: Where did you get your feet wet
From: sarah -dot- davies -at- macrovision -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 04:49:26 -0600

First post to the list - seems an appropriate topic to start with.

I did a degree in English Literature with the vague intention to go to law
school afterwards. Somewhere along the line I got sidetracked (too much
socialising with Engineering undergrads :) ), got interested in computers,
and signed up for an MSc conversion course instead. This was basically the
essentials of a Computer Science degree, for arts graduates, distilled
into one year of very hard work.

"Hey," said one of my engineering friends, "with that combination of
qualifications, you could be a technical writer." My response was, "A
what?" The university careers service was similarly ignorant. And this was

So I started applying for jobs in technical support and similar. One of
the companies I applied to saw my CV, rang me up, and told me "We don't
think you're suitable for a support role, but we do have a vacancy for a
junior technical writer. Interested?"

I got the job. Learned on the job. And nine years and three jobs later,
I'm still thoroughly enjoying it.

Everyone I know in technical writing who is my age or older came into the
field from vastly different backgrounds (law, teaching, languages,
programming). It's only in the last few years I've noticed graduates
coming in with degrees in Technical Communication or similar.



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