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Results for My 10 Technical Writing Stereotypes Survey

Oct 8, 2008 • general

Nearly two weeks ago I posted a survey about 10 technical writing stereotypes. 221 people participated in the survey. The results are below.

1. Technical writing is boring.

Generally True: 7%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 46%
Generally False: 47%

2. Technical writing stifles your creativity.

Generally True: 10%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 32%
Generally False: 58%

3. You do a lot of writing as a technical writer.

Generally True: 12%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 47%
Generally False: 41%

4. You need a job in technical communication to get a job in technical communication.

Generally True: 23%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 41%
Generally False: 36%

5. Technical writers are second-class citizens in IT departments.

Generally True: 28%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 47%
Generally False: 25%

6. Technical writers feel as if they've sold out.

Generally True: 6%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 23%
Generally False: 71%

7. You can easily support a family with other writing careers outside of technical writing.

Generally True: 17%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 41%
Generally False: 42%

8. You have to know a lot of tools to break into technical communication.

Generally True: 26%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 43%
Generally False: 31%

9. Technical writers are introverted, isolated, boring geeks.

Generally True: 7%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 38%
Generally False: 55%

10. Because IT technologies change so frequently, you have to spend large amounts of your spare time just keeping up with what's new.

Generally True: 16%
Sometimes True, Sometimes False: 35%
Generally False: 48%

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.