Speakers visit tech writing class

In an effort to give the seniors in the class more exposure to the professional field of Technical Writing, teacher Mr. Bendelow invited six speakers to share their experience with the students in the class on Friday, Sept. 15.

York students know Mr. Bendelow as an English teacher and Garden Club sponsor, but in the 2017-18 school year, he’s taken on a new project- a technical writing class. The class is new this year and also counts for three hours towards a writing certificate.

When a departing senior in the class of 2017 came to the administration requesting a class focused on the technical applications of writing, the English Department took the idea and ran with it. The class on Friday talked about the many benefits to a future in technical writing with the speakers. Speaker Josee Marteens, a writer at Microsoft, spoke about the versatility of a future in tech writing.

“It’s something you can do from anywhere in the world,” said Marteens, “modern technology makes it so easy to connect.”

All six speakers focused on a common theme- the rewards of the job. Many of the writers can choose their own projects and focus on things that interest them.  Linda Kelley, another speaker, identified other rewards as, “the ability to make complicated information understandable to the everyday person,” and the extreme amount of flexibility that working from home can provide.

The field is constantly evolving, growing at a rate of 10% in the past year, making job openings frequent and worthwhile. In a constantly growing career, Bendelow says, “the thing that makes you successful is your ability to communicate, concisely and accurately.”

The speakers also offered the seniors taking the class a unique opportunity- a $250 scholarship. They could earn this by writing two pieces on both why they would consider a Technical Writing career and a piece giving instructions to do a simple task, such as placing a telephone call.

Speaker Matt Miller, a manager for technical writers at startup called Synergex, spoke about the amount of openings and wide range of skill sets suited to the career.

“I went from math in college to Technical Writing,” Miller said, “You don’t have to be a natural writer.”