Thursday, May 30, 2024

open thread – April 26-27, 2024 — Ask a Supervisor


I commented earlier this 12 months, asking what roles might be sensible for somebody who doesn’t wish to be a tech product supervisor anymore. Somebody urged technical writing, which has been on the top of my thoughts for some time.

Most of my unofficial expertise comes from a earlier office, the place I wrote all inside and customer-facing guides for a number of merchandise, and helped roll out a third-party software program for in-app consumer guides. It wasn’t my official function: I used to be filling a niche alongside my job description duties, as a result of we didn’t have a devoted author. I bought a whole lot of reward for that, which I’m conscious doesn’t imply the work was good by some other employer’s requirements: it could effectively have been a case of “please by no means cease doing this as nobody else will” (that is the place I warn you that I’ve rampant imposter syndrome). But it surely did make me realise that breaking down a product or course of in writing is one thing I really feel snug / good at doing, and that I get pleasure from it greater than being a product supervisor.

At that previous office, my function typically crossed paths with Paul, a technical subject material skilled, who additionally works some other place now. Immediately, he shared a technical writing emptiness at his present office (enterprise software program firm with a product utilized by builders). I’ve been questioning whether or not to message him and specific curiosity, although we haven’t spoken in a few years (we have been on good phrases at OldJob). He’s not within the staff the place the emptiness is, so it could be extra of a “would your organization trash my CV if I don’t come from a writing function and the know-how is new to me?” actuality examine.

I fear I’d sound out of line, as a result of the function focuses on documentation for a product that makes use of a tech stack I’ve zero expertise of. My sense, studying the job advert, is there wouldn’t be a lot level making use of if I feel I might study the writing course of shortly however don’t have the precise technical background. Plus, it’s been lengthy sufficient that I’m pretty positive the guides I wrote at OldJob are not on-line for me to make use of as work samples for tech author roles.

Ought to I take heed to my intestine and depart it alone, or drop Paul a line on LinkedIn and see what I can study? And within the latter case, how would these of you who’ve efficiently reached out to previous connections phrase the query?

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