Reflections on my technical writing career

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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?

Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

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