Reflections on my technical writing career
I was once asked in a job interview: “Why do I stay a technical writer when it must be such a dull and boring profession?” After the meeting when I was peeling rubber out of the parking lot, I took a few moments when I was decelerating to think about some of the more interesting moments (at least to me) from my career:
- Documenting a piece of hardware for a client that NASA later sent to Mars on a mission.
- Writing the documentation for a client that was migrating away from Microsoft Outlook to Netscape Communicator. Later, I had to take this contract off my resume because more than one recruiter questioned me on the project and thought I had the packages reversed. This project did help provide the down payment for my house though so it has a special place in my heart.
- Working on a technical writing contract that was in sovereign territory.
Interviewing for a technical writing contract at a sewage treatment plant. They have IT groups, too.
- Documenting my first Web-based application in 1997. It was such a crude Web-based application by today’s standards.
- Writing an article for CNET Builder.com about hiring technical writers and got hit with hate mail from some technical writers who called me a traitor to my profession.
While I’ve had some ups and downs in my career as a technical writer, I’m still learning and still at it.
What are some favorite moments from your technical writing career?