Susan Kelley, Technical Writer, Teacher, Pittsburgh, PA.
I am a technical writer located in Pittsburgh, PA. My primary background was in academia, and I made the bold leap into corporate writing a short time ago both for the stability and the flexibility (sounds like a paradox, I know, but it isn’t). In the business world, I swapped semester schedules for performance-based reviews, and that’s okay by me.
In my nine-to-five I write software documentation. In this blog, I look at:
The Internet of Things, Big Data and how it impacts our daily lives, Visual Communication, Emerging Technical Writing Tools, Content Strategy, Information Architecture, Data Analytics in Writing, and a host of other topics as they catch my fancy.
I Wasn’t Always a Tech Writer
Like I mentioned, I came to tech writing out of academia, so I first explored composition. My educational background includes a BS in Creative Writing (odd that it is a BS, I know), an MA in Rhetoric from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MA in Literature from Duquesne University. But at the root of it all, I like the technology of writing. I recently told my manager that I still believe the greatest technological invention in communication is the pencil. She replied that she holds it to be the typewriter. I still think I’m right.
I’ve taught rhetorical theory, theories of argumentation, and political strategy. I have also taught feminist poetics, introductory literature courses and writing for the professions. Additionally, I’ve taught Human-Computer Interaction I currently teach basic and remedial English Grammar at Pittsburgh’s Community College. I love teaching this course because language, at its heart, is a wonderful tool without which basic communication fails.
So Why Blog?
At the very root of my love of writing is the desire to disseminate information that interests me. That’s a great part of why I doubt I will ever stop teaching/ And by that, I mean I doubt I will ever stop teaching. When I retire from technical publications, I think I will continue to teach overseas, or in retirement communities or in some other capacity, for as long as I am able. I enjoy vacationing at the Chautauqua Institution precisely because it is all about learning – all about sharing information with one another. So, to blog in this sense is to continue learning on my end in hopes of gathering something and committing to it well enough to share with others. Learning-teaching-distributing and starting that process again.