Job Title: Senior Technical Editor/Project Manager
Type of Company: My company creates software for developers and designers who create applications on the web, for mobile devices, and software for editing digital images.
Education: BA, Communications, Simmons College, Bachelor of Arts Completed coursework toward a certificate in Human Factors.
Previous Experience: I have worked as an editor my entire career. I started as an editor for medical textbooks, and then as an editor on a variety of topics for a publishing house. While my children were young, I worked part-time as a consultant for a variety of companies, and began working for software companies. I have worked full-time as a technical editor on software documentation at large and small companies for 12 years. In my current position I am a project manager in the documentation group at a software company.
Job Tasks: I do all my work on the computer. I work with the people who write the documentation for the software, their managers, and the people who do the production work that is necessary to display the online documentation in the software products. My job involves coordinating the schedules among all those people, and making sure that the tasks are completed on time so the documentation is ready when the software is released to the public.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My favorite part of my job is when I re-phrase sentences and make the content more understandable and clearer. I also derive satisfaction from helping to keep everyone organized and get their tasks done on time. I like finding solutions to the problems that arise.
My least favorite task is working with the scheduling software, although it is satisfying to get it working. It can sometimes be frustrating when the development schedules change many times during a project, and I have to continually change the writing schedules.
1.) Read a variety of books on different topics, so you are familiar with language and different writing styles.
2.) Always be open to learning new ways of doing things, remain flexible, and be patient with other people.
Additional Thoughts: My career has gone in directions that I never would have expected. When I graduated from college, I thought I would be a graphic designer. But I got a job as an editor and found that I was good at working with words and enjoyed that. I never thought that I would spend all day long working on a computer and that I would become very technical.
If I had known that I could be successful working in the computer industry, I would have begun doing that sooner. Also, I would have pursued a career in human factors, if I had known about that field when I was in college. I have taken classes in that area, and find it very interesting.
As an editor, you must learn to be tactful and patient when dealing with other people.
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