A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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While the field of usability has existed for decades, the number and quality of careers in the field have greatly improved in the last 10-15 years. The long-term prognosis for the industry is good: there are constant opportunities in almost every industry since new products and technology come out all the time, in usability as well as user-centered design, interaction design and user experience design.



Fundamentals of Leadership: Communicating a Vision

Great leaders are not always born that way. Unfortunately, many management training programs don't sufficiently emphasize leadership development, but instead focus on fundamentals and the day-to-day tasks that confront managers within the organization. This article takes a look at how having vision and then communicating it is the foundation of leadership and contributes to the makeup of a truly great leader.

Harris, Kerri. Writing Assistance (2006). Careers>Management>Collaboration>Business Communication


The Future of Technical Documentation 2000-2010

The need for TCs with traditional writing skills will remain fairly stable, but the need for TCs in total will grow. The new technical communicators will come from the world of game design, where they know all about 3D-vector animation, and they will come from the world of TV and video production.

TC-FORUM (2000). Careers>TC>Documentation>Video


Future Travels of the InfoWrangler

Some of the questions most commonly asked by professionals in a given field are 'where is the field headed?' and 'how will that affect me?' In this article, I give one person's view of where the fields of technical communication, training, and marketing communications are headed and how that might affect people working in those fields.

Carliner, Saul. Intercom (1998). Careers>Information Design


Gender Disparities in the Design Field

Walk into any design classroom, at any college in America, and you’ll see a comfortable mix of male and female students. Turn your attention to the front of the classroom, or down the hall to the faculty and staff offices, and that wonderful gender balance starts to skew. Travel outside the campus, and there’s really no balance at all. But why? If there are design classrooms across the country with a 50/50 blend of men and women — and in many classrooms, there are more females than males — then why doesn’t the design field represent the same ratio?

Mindiola, John. Smashing (2010). Careers>Graphic Design>Education>Gender


General Guidelines for Conducting Interviews

Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant's experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around a topic. Interviews may be useful as follow-up to certain respondents to questionnaires, e.g., to further investigate their responses. Usually open-ended questions are asked during interviews. Before you start to design your interview questions and process, clearly articulate to yourself what problem or need is to be addressed using the information to be gathered by the interviews. This helps you keep clear focus on the intent of each question.

McNamara, Carter. Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (1999). Careers>Interviewing


General Resume Template

A template for technical writers developing new personal resumes.

Tech-Writer. Careers>Resumes


Getting a Job as a Web Developer

The most extensive training I took was in C programming. I learned C and then wrote two simple CGIs to show that I could apply that knowledge. At the same time, I practiced with Photoshop until I had several graphics of publishable quality for our Web site. Once I had done that, I was promoted to Webmaster.

Kyrnin, Jennifer. About.com (2001). Careers>Advice


Getting a Job in the '90s   (PDF)

This panel discussion focuses on how finding and getting a job in the ’90s has changed over the past five to ten years. The number of electronic sources of job information is growing rapidly. Major online services such as CompuServe and America On-Line link to these sources, as well as run their own listings. Many sites let you post your resume electronically. New techniques are needed to create electronic resumes.

Sharp, Michael V., Roger E. Masse and Jan D. Shelton. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>TC


Getting a Technical Writing Job, Even If You Have No Experience   (Word)

Technical writing jobs can be hard to get if you have little or no experience. But there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired.

Docsymmetry. Careers>TC>Interviewing>Technical Writing


Getting Clients

Getting clients can be one of the most daunting challenges a designer faces. After all, until you’ve actually secured a client, you can’t do the job. That said, the biggest sure-fire way to not get clients is to be worried and freaked out. Clients are looking for confidence when they hire. You wanna make sure you don’t land a client? Then act freaked out and worried. I’m not saying play “hard to get.” I’m telling you to behave like someone who I’d entrust writing a large check to while putting my professional reputation in your hands.

Monteiro, Mike. List Apart, A (2012). Careers>Consulting>Freelance>Advice


Getting Corporate Approval

Shared Medical Systems Corporation (SMS) recently combined its 66-person technical writing group and six-person performance-centered design team to form a new department called User Performance. With more and more clinicians—often novice users—interacting with SMS systems, SMS recognized the need to place an increased focus on usability.

Drake, Frederic and Frances L. Fleek. Usability Interface (2000). Careers>Usability>Management>Collaboration


Getting Hired: What Employers Really Want

We began to work on an event to gather professionals and employers to help us figure out what UX employers really want.

Sanchez-Howard, Olga. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Careers>Usability>User Experience


Getting into Government Consulting

From Washington, D.C. to Olympia, Washington, there's a rich potential for user experience consultants of all flavors to provide services to government. In this article I'll share some thoughts directed toward you, the independent consultant or small firm that would like to work with government.

McMullin, Jess. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Careers>Consulting>Government>User Experience


Getting Paid

As businesses struggle to stay in business, many are short–changing vendors or woefully delaying payment. Zeldman laments the difficulties of getting paid.

Zeldman, Jeffrey. List Apart, A (2002). Careers>Consulting>Web Design


Getting Professional Help: Why Contractors and Independent Consultants Need Lawyers   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article begins with the premise that there is no such thing as a standard contract and goes on to explore some of the ways that the attorney/client relationship can have unexpected benefits for technical communication consultants and contractors. The conclusion is that these communicators should seek legal counsel to protect themselves and their businesses.

Glick-Smith, Judith L. 'Judy' and Carol Stephenson. Technical Communication Online (1998). Careers>Consulting>Legal


Getting Real Results from Employee Engagement

I remember the day I turned on the car radio and found out that my company was merging with a competitor. Over the coming weeks, every employee made mental and emotional decisions on whether to stay engaged with their work and the company, or to just to show up and collect a paycheck.

Schmidt, Jeff. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Management>Public Relations>Workplace


Getting Sidetracked Projects Back on Track

How do you get your project back on track? How do you turn the client around to your ideas? Over the years, we’ve found ourselves in this exact situation and have learned a few tricks that gets our work back on track, making sure we end our projects with high fives all around.

ZURBlog (2012). Careers>Consulting>Project Management


Getting Started in Technical Communication

A lot of people think you need a credential to break into the field of technical communication. You don’t need one to get started. This might change in the future with the STC pursuing the offering of a certification.

Albing, Bill. Ideas in the Making (2010). Careers>TC>Advice


Getting Started in Technical Writing  (link broken)

This summary provides a collection of tips and advice for getting started in the technical writing profession. The following categories are included in this summary: Finding and Getting That First Job; Types of Technical Writing; Types of Technical Writers; Degrees and Technical Writing; Transferring to Technical Writing from Other Professions: From Journalism; From Teaching; From Academia; From Marketing; From Law; Essential Skills; On Being a Technical Writer.

TECHWR-L. Careers>Advice>Writing>Technical Writing


Getting Started on Managing (and Measuring) Interdepartmental Technical Communication Requests

In today’s ROI world everything is measured, and what is measured then becomes a performance report, often, nearly always, will determine bonuses, promotions and compensation. So it’s more important than ever to establish a formal system for managing communications requests and tasks. Forget about the bonus, it’s your and your staff’s sanity we’re talking about here.

Giordano, Connie. Tech Writer Today (2011). Careers>Management>Technical Writing>Assessment


Getting Started on Your Assignment

This is the first of a series of articles on BA consulting. This is some of my perspective on starting your consulting assignment as a BA, and understanding the organization that you're working with. This first article: Start your BA assignment with a bang and will be followed by two additional articles discussing requirements basics, followed by closing the project.

Furey, Jim. BA Collective (2007). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication


Getting There: Medical Writing

Medical writing is a career that is often not predetermined but decided upon en route. Medical writers are well-rounded in terms of having both communicative and scientific knowledge, and this also means that a wide range of academic backgrounds and job experiences are welcome in the field. Medical writing allows for acquisition of various necessary skills through whichever means most suits the individual.

Gies, Heather. Cord Weekly (2009). Careers>Writing>Scientific Communication>Biomedical


Getting This "Global Thing" Right…

CEOs overwhelmingly believe that revenue growth is their number one priority: four out of five CEOs (83%) now believe that revenue growth is the most important path to boosting financial performance over the next three years. And what do they see as the two key drivers for this growth? New and differentiated products and services (nearly two-thirds) and new markets (55%). Responsiveness is the new key competence, i.e., CEOs acknowledge that they need the ability to recognize, analyze and respond more effectively to continuously changing market conditions and risks. Reinstituting customer responsive organizations is high on their growth agenda.

Ray, Rebecca. LISA (2004). Careers>Management>International


Getting to Know Your Clients is Always a Plus

As a Consultant, you have to be flexible to deal with change and the different personalities that come with the job. Some clients let you take control and only check in once in awhile, and others have to be part of every step of the way. It’s something that you can’t take personally because you never know what the reasons are for the clients reason to behave in the way that they do. The only way you are going to find success is by smiling and going with the flow.

Polastre, Shevonne. Chicwriter (2009). Careers>Consulting>Collaboration


Getting to No

A bad client relationship is like a bad marriage without the benefits. To avoid such relationships, or to fix the one you're in, learn the five classic signs of trouble. Recognizing the never-ending contract revisionist, the giant project team, the vanishing boss and other warning signs can help you run successful, angst-free projects.

Hoy, Greg. List Apart, A (2009). Careers>Consulting>Collaboration



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