Re: Further education - what are other tech writers doing?

Subject: Re: Further education - what are other tech writers doing?
From: Matt Danda <mdanda -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com" <loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2016 14:40:06 +0000 (UTC)

Thanks for asking this question! I've been obsessed with continuing education for the past three years. Here is a summary of my recent activities:
Certifications I recently earned (in past three years):-MadCap Flare Advanced Developer. Sometimes it's just healthy to study for and take tests.
-CompTIA Network+. A tough challenge, but straightforward curriculum. Lots of memorization.

Certifications I'm currently studying for:-CompTIA Security+. I find it interesting. That's why.
-Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). I'm a LONG way away from this one, but, again, I find the subject fascinating.

General programming studies:-C# books. I generally prefer books by O'Reilly, but they do sell some duds here and there.
-C# videos. I purchased several videos from O'Reilly (wait for the sales!!), which are generally better than those from Although Lynda isn't bad...
-C# exercises. My favorite site for practicing coding exercises is Project Euler (Google "Project Euler" to make sure you get the right URL and not a malicious site).

Full-stack Web I just started their program, and I'm very impressed.

College-level courses:-None (in the past 5 years). Not as necessary these days, given the number of good options available online for little or no cost.

Problems with my continuing education plan:-It's too scattered! I need to choose one topic (C# Programming, Networking & Security, or Web Development) and focus on it. Such is my Achilles heel and probably why I'm STILL a technical writer after 20+ years.
-I haven't completed a project of reasonable size in either C# or Web Development to PROVE that I have those skills. Probably a result of the above point.

Final thought:-My emergency plan, if I were unexpectedly unemployed, is to enroll in a programming boot camp or similar intense training program. This plan would solve the two problems noted above.

I hope this information is useful!
Matt DandaOverland Park, KS


Message: 8
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2016 15:26:28 -0700
From: Lois Patterson <loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Further education - what are other tech writers doing?
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I've been discussing this subject with other tech writers.

In my small team, we've variously taken recent courses in Python, Java,
JavaScript, SQL, Web development, Node.JS, and Hadoop. Although it's
certainly possible to learn these on your own, we found taking actual
classroom courses helpful.

I recently started the Machine Learning Specialization from Coursera, which
is of course challenging.

Is anyone working on an additional degree or certification on the side?
Following a prescribed self-study regimen? What are you doing to keep
learning new technologies?

Lois Patterson

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