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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. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), 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.