I’m continuing the interview format today with the second part of Meet the Hyper Writer. I think it’s the best way to introduce and learn more about a subject, even if the subject is me, so, with that…once again…meet and learn more about the owner of this blog, the Hyper Writer…Stephanie Whitlow.
- What’s next for you?
More education and lots of networking! I’m a fearless learner and I will be tackling the latest software advances in tech comm. I’ll even be sharing my journey on my blog with “The Learning Curve” posts each week. Right now, I’m upgrading my skills with Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite 2015. I’m also taking classes through Google and Lynda.com to learn SEO and how to use analytics. I’m adding a Wiki plug-in to my site (www.hyperwriter.net) so those wanting to get started in technical writing can access the profession’s lingo (speaking the language is half the battle when you’re new to the profession.) Networking will include lots of local meet-ups and probably a great deal of coffee!!
- How has the profession changed since you started?
When I started, we mostly wrote in Microsoft Word or FrameMaker then some companies moved to online help which is when I learned RoboHelp. Users have become a lot more technically savvy over the years; however, based on the job openings I’ve seen, there’s still a need for documentation. This takes the form of help on mobile devices, instant online help within an applications, tool-tip help for in-house software, chat support or how-to videos. Lately, it seems the push has been to create documentation for code in the form of program guides.
- How did you know you wanted to be a technical writer?
My career plan in college was to go into Human Resource Management but I took a Technical Communication class as an elective my senior year in college and truly fell in love! I thought; this has to be the best profession. It takes into account my love of process, project management, interviewing, team work, helping others learn and it provides endless chances to get experience with emerging technologies. Honestly, I still light up when I think about taking that class and how it changed the course of my working life. I’ve met so many fascinating people and had so many opportunities presented to me through this profession.
- Who are your influences?
Those in the profession who keep up with trends – As far as tech comm goes, I’m a fan of the TC Dojo where I’ve learned a lot about single sourcing and have gotten the latest information about what’s happening in our profession. I’ve read Tom Johnson’s blog for years and appreciate his insight. I listen to The Side Hustle Nation for news on working as an entrepreneur in my spare time. And I really enjoy listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcasts, The Four Hour Work Week changed my perspective on work.
- Do you have a special quote or motto?
“If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.” – Neil Gaiman
Basically, keep doing what you want to do and don’t listen to anyone telling it can’t be done. A positive attitude will always carry you further than a negative one.