Interview with a Technical Communicator

Interview with a Technical Communicator

Published on 2 November 2020

A project for one of my classes.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
Transcript
00:00
Interview with a Technical Communicator
00:00
By Kerri Ballance
00:10
Meet Anna Fleming:
00:10
A Technical Communicator, born and raised around Huntsville, AL She received: Associate’s Degree in English from Calhoun Community College Bachelor’s Degree in English, with a Technical Writing Cognate, from the University of Alabama in Huntsville
00:31
After Graduating:
00:31
Fleming has worked at Sigma Tech Incorporated for almost five years She was initially hired to perform technical writing and editing, as well as working on proposals. She did this for about six months, then transitioned from part-time to full-time mid-2016. She primarily proofread quality documents, until she took over the quality management system in October 2016. When asked why she stayed, Fleming said, “I stayed because the job got interesting and I started expanding into different areas.”
00:51
The Job:
00:51
Her official job title is technical writer/editor and quality specialist. She does three types of work: technical editing on lesson plans and maintenance manuals for foreign military sales (FMS) working on the quality management system, such as writing quality documentation, and managing the audits everything involved with proposals She noted that her work on proposals is counted as part of tech writing and editing, and that a fair amount of people who work on proposals also perform tech writing and editing. In addition to everything else that she does, Fleming proofreads any document that is sent her way. Fleming said that her work is never boring and “I’m always learning new things.”
01:26
The Work Itself:
01:26
While working on proposals, she edits as well as formats works on configuration management and compliance reviews For compliance reviews, she has to make sure that the proposals are compliant to the applicable standards. This includes ensuring that the formatting is correct, making sure that the right keywords are used, essentially assuring that everything is as up to code as it can be. For quality management, she does everything that needs to be done, which ranges anywhere from writing documents on a certain process, to writing evaluation criteria, auditing, any and everything. She said that “there is a lot of document management on the quality side.” She also works on continual improvement. So if something is a non-conformity to the codes, she works on analyzing the cause of the issue and correcting it.
02:01
A Typical Week:
02:01
consists of about five to ten hours on editing, and thirty to forty hours split between quality and proposals varies depending on what projects need her attention that week So, one week may see her working almost exclusively on proposals, another might see her time split about 50/50.
02:21
When asked if there was anything that she wished she had known before starting her career she replied: the style guide that the military uses, though that was fairly easy to learn as their standards are fairly similar to others (like Chicago, AP, and MLA). more about how to use Excel, because, while she has learned a great deal in her job, it would have been much simpler to learn beforehand. more about what and how much to include in a good Powerpoint presentation. When asked if she finds her job satisfying, Fleming enthusiastically replied, “Yes. I love what I do.”
02:21
Reflection: