I’ve been out of full-time contracting for almost two years and recently thought back to some of the stranger things I saw during the contract technical writer chapter of my life: A fellow contractor was posting nude pictures of his wife on Usenet from his client account. He was busted and walked offsite by armed… Continue reading Weird things I saw when I was a contract technical writer
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… Continue reading Reflections on my technical writing career
Much of my technical writing career has been spent working in the trenches directly with technical teams. Unfortunately, this means I don’t know any junior technical writers anymore. I’ve seen a lot in my time as a technical writer, and if I did advise new or junior technical writers, it would be the following:
The technical writer profession takes it on the chin sometimes. So much so, community-based technical documentation – user forums, wikis, blogs, and other social media – is becoming a go-to source for technical documentation and training. On how to perform technical tasks and thus to open another front for criticism on the traditional role of… Continue reading Does it take a community to document a technical issue?
I was talking to a recruiter once who asked me how I felt about taking meeting minutes. The first thing I said was “I think meeting minutes are overrated because I’ve rarely if ever seen them consulted again by meeting participants. When is the last time you consulted meeting minutes after a meeting was over?”… Continue reading An alternative perspective about taking meeting minutes
With some clear expectations and a little planning upfront, running remote writing and document review projects can go smoothly. Here are some lessons I learned when I was a freelancer about running remote writing and editing projects:
Working as a contract technical writer like I did earlier in my career can teach a lot of life lessons and illuminate a lot of truths into human nature. I’ve seen a lot working with commercial, Federal, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations.