TCTrainNet Attendees about Their Experiences with Us
"I would definitely recommend the training program to other candidates. It broadened my professional horizons. Besides, the organizators are launching a revamped version of the training materials – I’m quite thrilled and curious myself. And remember, form follows function!"
- Desislava Mihaylova is from Bulgaria
- She works as a Senior Technical Writer at Progress
- She accomplished TCTrainNet in summer 2017
Read the full story of Desislava Mihaylova
I hold a BA in Applied Linguistics and an MA in English Philology. Contrary to my mom’s expectations, however, my first full-time job was as a sales rep at a company providing financial services. Eight years later, I was still doing finances but felt I needed a 180-degree change.
I became a technical writer because of an invitation from a friend of mine who was the HR Manager of the company I worked for previously. When I applied, I summed up my motivation this way: “I just want to practice my English,” so I gave the profession a try. Five years later I was in love with my job and wanted to know more about the theory behind the best practices and common approaches, and I was interested in an effort-optimizing and quality-boosting tooling for creating and maintaining documentation.
It was also interesting to me how technical writers from other industries in Europe and around the globe handle the requirements of their companies and what their everyday challenges are. In Bulgaria, we do not have a related university specialty and TCTrainNet seemed a logical decision. Besides, as a professional, I was a member of the tekom family and received a discount. Now that I have successfully passed the exam, I feel more prepared, self-assured, and inspired by the job. I have legitimized my skills and now generally know more about the full spectrum of tech writing deliverables, the strategies for information development, and project management.
I would definitely recommend the training program to other candidates. It broadened my professional horizons. Besides, the organizators are launching a revamped version of the training materials – I’m quite thrilled and curious myself. And remember, form follows function!
"At the beginning of the course, I wondered why I was learning theories about reading and comprehensibility. But you need to stick with the learning because you come across some really interesting modules with XML, translation, terminology management, information development and online help. [...]
I am no longer just a book editor with a little technical writing experience—I can call myself a technical communicator and can apply for jobs with confidence now that I have better knowledge of the profession. tekom certification is not as hard as you might think."
- David Gardiner is from Australia and works as a trainer and Technical Writer at PwC
- He accomplished the First Level Course in 2014
- He became the first in Australia to receive certification in Technical Communication
Read the full story of David Gardiner
The options for formal training in technical communication in Australia are limited, so as an experienced book editor wanting to enter the profession through an entry-level course, I needed to look further afield.
After considering courses in New Zealand and the US, I settled on the tekom First-level Certificate in Technical Communication. I chose the course because the online delivery and wide range of topics appealed to me, and also because I didn’t need to attend any classes away from home. The course provides training and tests for basic competencies in a range of subject areas.
The training leads to certification with an exam, and is well worth the investment as an introduction for new technical communicators or as a refresher for those already in the profession. I studied with several students from Germany, Austria, India and China. The discussion forums are an excellent way to learn from others’ experiences as you respond to the training and practical tasks—you are studying with your group for several months and get to know how they do their job and how technical communication works for different industries.
The course eases you into study for the first few weeks, and then you plough through one sub-module each week for around 25 weeks. The material is mostly theory and concepts of various aspects of technical communication, and occasionally there are small practical exercises to consolidate learning, such as setting up style templates in Microsoft Word, or using a trial version of oXygen XML Editor to produce a few pages of a document with DITA markup.
At the beginning of the course, I wondered why I was learning theories about reading and comprehensibility. But you need to stick with the learning because you come across some really interesting modules with XML, translation, terminology management, information development and online help.I already had a lot of experience in editing, desktop publishing, typography and XML, so I could skip over those sub-modules.
But I was happy to know that my skills matched what is expected of a technical communicator. Some of the surprises were: terminology management (I didn’t realise that how you choose specific words has so many implications for documentation) and information development (how all members of a project documentation team work together).After the formal training you have several weeks to finish off exercises and revise the material.
The certification is held online with the other students and covers practical tasks and an oral exam. I am no longer just a book editor with a little technical writing experience— I can call myself a technical communicator and can apply for jobs with confidence now that I have better knowledge of the profession. tekom certification is not as hard as you might think.
Elisabeth Sánchez-Andrade Potter
"A colleague told me about TCTrainNet, and I realized that it was what I was looking for. It would be a lie to say that it wasn’t hard combining both the training and my “real job” (plus personal life!). But completing the training was definitely worth the effort. Now I have a solid theoretical basis in technical writing and I know the standards. I do feel that this helps me to improve my daily work!"
- Elisabeth Sánchez-Andrade Potter works at SAP in Germany
- She accomplished TCTrainNet in 2016
Read the full story of Elisabeth Sánchez-Andrade Potter
17 years ago, I would have never imagined that I would become a technical writer for an IT company! I was not really interested in computers and, back when I started to study, there was no university degree for technical writers.
After graduating from university in Spain, I came to Germany and started teaching Spanish. I was then offered a temporary job in the machine translation department of my current company. After a few months, I got a job as a technical writer in Spanish. The department, where I still work, deals with localization, so it is very international – and knowing a few languages is a big advantage.
I had been working as technical writer for a long time before attending the TCTrainNet course. Although I had a lot of working experience and knew quite a few things about the profession, I had acquired these 'on the job'. I was interested in getting an overview of the profession and official certification.
A colleague told me about TCTrainNet, and I realized that it was what I was looking for. It would be a lie to say that it wasn’t hard combining both the training and my 'real job' (plus personal life!). But completing the training was definitely worth the effort. Now I have a solid theoretical basis in technical writing and I know the standards. I do feel that this helps me to improve my daily work!
Dr. Fritz Adrian Lülf
"What really struck me about TCTrainNet was the well thought-out and concise curriculum. It really stood out from the plethora of different ways to become a technical communicator, which ranged from a few weeks’ training to a full-blown Master’s degree. Of course, my studies are not yet complete, but for me, participating in TCTrainNet built a solid groundwork for my start in technical communication."
- Dr. Fritz Adrian Lülf is from Germany
- He works as a Senior Technical Communicator at Meyton Elektronik GmbH
- He accomplished the First Level Course in September 2016
Read the full story of Dr. Fritz Adrian Lülf
To start off my new career path as a technical writer, I went to the annual tcworld conference in Stuttgart. There, I learned of several companies and institutions providing formal training and the qualification to become a technical communicator.
Among these was TCTrainNet. Monika from TCTrainNet masterfully switched hats several times during our conversation to inform me about tekom and TCTrainNet.
What really struck me about TCTrainNet was the well thought-out and concise curriculum. It really stood out from the plethora of different ways to become a technical communicator, which ranged from a few weeks’ training to a full-blown Master’s degree.
At that time, I was one of only 2 technical communicators in the company. My colleague had just finished his regular seven-month training with tekom in German. So I – as the beginner – was in a perfect position to argue for training in English in an effort not to double competences in a small company.
I enrolled in the online course at the beginning of last year, and from day one it all went very smoothly. I soon found my rhythm watching the videos, working my way through the lessons, and doing the assignments. The assignments were the really interesting part, as it got me into interesting discussions with my fellow learners. Also, our trainer was always present for us and added to the discussions wherever he could. So this is where the real learning took place.
The exam went smoothly, too. I was in a group of three trainees and two examiners, and we had a vivid discussion guided by the examiners rather than a strict questioning session via Skype. We also had to write a short manual based on sketchy input about a fictional device.
And after nine months, I had my certificate as a TC. Of course, my studies are not yet complete, but for me, participating in TCTrainNet built a solid groundwork for my start in technical communication.
"I had the chance to take TCTrainNet training, given by my company. As you may know, I’m a technical writer from China. At present, only two universities in China have technical writing courses, so there are few ways to learn the standards for technical writing. Prior to this training program, I had to find the standards for technical authoring on the Internet or in the company’s style guide. It was a jumbled state of affairs.
In this training program, I received systematic teaching in the history, theoretical knowledge, tools, global standards, and practical experience of technical writing, among others. In addition, I learned the process of creating a document, including planning, authoring, reviewing, translation and desktop publishing, etc. and how to manage a project.
This is a great help in my work. Now I can control authoring and project management when there are several projects at the same time. In conclusion, I LOVE WHAT I DO.
I’d like to thank you for this training program. I hope TCTrainNet has more excellent training!!"
- Ada Li is from China and works at Amplexor
- She accomplished the First Level Course in November 2016
"I think I first heard about TCtrainNet a couple of years ago at a technical writing conference. It piqued my interest, so afterwards, I looked up the site. Although I had been working as a technical writer for several years, I had not yet had any formal training in the field. I liked the idea of expanding my knowledge and getting an official certificate. Now that I have almost completed the course, I can say that I have really enjoyed learning about aspects of technical communication that I hadn’t given much thought before. Even if you have technical writing experience, this course will be beneficial for you and your career."
- Yordan Georgiev is from Bulgaria
- He is Senior Technical Writer at VMware
- He will accomplish TCTrainNet in the end of 2017