That's still true in some regions. Not all universities offer any training 
toward technical writing, and some of the ones locally that do are really only 
teaching basic grammar and writing business letter. It would appear that the 
department head there has no clue what tech writing is, or that syllabus would 
be returned for heavy revision!

  Among candidates with no direct tech writing experience and short job 
histories, I have found that candidates who majored in literature or English 
rhetoric/composition (or other field that requires a lot of writing that's 
graded by prof's who know how to write well) and minored in a technical field 
such as computer science, a type of engineering, or other scientific field -- 
are the candidates who seem to settle in to the odd mix of skills required in 
our field. I also had a good experience with someone whose BS was in biology 
and minored in journalism, and her family background was a very goal-oriented. 
As a writer, she was detail-oriented and adjusted well to the demands of 
timelines and multiple overlapping deadlines, but she didn't seem to get stuck 
in the conundrum of perfectionism that plagues some.


Steve Rickaby <srickaby at> wrote:
  At 12:40 -0700 15/5/07, Rene Stephenson wrote:

However, about half the tech writers I know never formally trained as tech 
writers - although all are of graduate level. One reason for this is that for 
my generation there wasn't much in the way of formal courses for tech writers 
when we were at college - I only first heard about the profession in the late 


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