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Question and answer session
2000, September (March 04, 2007)


A question and answer session followed the Leadership Meeting. Highlights were:
  • Find a mentor in the room, someone you have talked with in STC who will be able to help you. Ask that person if he or she would like to help you. People like to be asked.
  • Common sense is often in short supply in business. With communication rifts between executives and "propeller heads" ("techies"), there is a great need for communications within companies.
  • Technology skills are not a substitute for good writing. This topic was discussed extensively in the meeting. (Yes, you need technical skills to be hired; a lot of companies don't want to take the time to train you — they needed somebody yesterday for your position.)
  • STC leadership is exploring ways to make tools such as FrameMaker and RoboHELP accessible at reduced rates for members.
  • Companies today are using a very small pool of contractors (writers) to do their documentation. They want someone who can come in and hit the ground running.
  • Make sure when you learn a tool that you continue to use it daily. The old adage, "If you don't use it, you lose it" applies here.
  • "The market for technical writers is crazy right now. There are technical writers with only two years of experience making $30.00 an hour." — Emily Toone (owner of TPS, a staffing company for technical communicators)
  • Not everyone in the room had a BA in English!
  • Getting involved with STC in some way is a great way to get started. End of article.

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