RE: Consensus for a Tech Writing Certificate

Subject: RE: Consensus for a Tech Writing Certificate
From: "Johan Hiemstra" <webmaster -at- techexams -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 15:42:48 +0200

Maybe Bill was right and I need so have some more faith in my users, it
seems to be me who gets tripped over a rhetorical question. :)

I understand what you're saying, now. I'm still curious to the answer why
Brainbench doesn't have a tech writer cert though. Without going into
another discussion about what should be in it (imho not drawing diagrams in
any application, rather something more general like 'select the diagram that
best depicts the following task' or 'what is wrong with the following
drawing?' a. too simple, b. too abstract c. too complex etc) I wonder if
that is partly the reason.

"During interminable discussions on TECHWR-L, we have failed to agree on
whether there should even *be* a TW certification, let alone whether a "core
set of requirements" could cover all of the skilled, professional TWs
working today."

I think that's also why it would be nice to know how an organization like
Brainbench feels about such a cert. I guess the lack of a jet engines cert
(yes, I noticed it was rhetorical, too) has something to do with demand, but
I think there would be plenty of demand for a tech writer certification.

I understand most of the reasons one can have against such a certification,
I have several myself, but I think a 'basic TW cert' could find its place
and help this industry mature further. Getting a divers group of people as
the ones on this list to agree on what should be covered, sounds like an
impossible task to begin with. But is that a requirement? I think something
with the standards, rules, tasks and skills that are common should allow for
a suitable cert and test. If you can create a job task analysis from 100-200
tech writers, you can get a pretty good idea of what is acceptable as a
common "core set of requirements". It doesn't look too complex to create
such a cert, so I don't think lack of demand, or disagreements about the
content are a real issue. Which leaves me wondering what is.

If the answer from brainbench comes in and has something interesting to add
I'll post it anyway in case you or anyone else is still interested in the
answer. Additionally, I can ask CompTIA if they ever considered or have
plans for a tech writer certifications. Considering their CTT+ certification
for Technical Trainers, Project+ - project management, and CDIA+ - Document
Imaging and Management it wouldn't be 'that' odd.

If the original poster, against all odds, receives a detailed response, I'd
be happy to turn it into a example multiple choice exam for the sake of
discussion and whatever it may lead too.


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RE: Consensus for a Tech Writing Certificate: From: Dan Goldstein

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