If you need to build your technical writing portfolio with sample documentation, you have several options:
This last option is one I haven’t highlighted on my blog, but it may actually be the best option. Usually startups don’t hire technical writers until their product is mature enough to bring to market. At that time, they usually have a sizable amount of documentation to create or edit, but they don’t have capital to hire a professional technical writer until they get more funding.
Visit linksv.com for a list of startups in the Silicon Valley area. If you find a startup company you like, contact them about and ask if you can help out with their documentation.
I personally haven’t tried this approach because I’m well-past this point in my career, but many people contact me looking for open source projects to join, so I’m offering this tip with startups.
Startup companies are the norm in the Silicon Valley area. If you get a chance to work for a startup, I highly recommend it. It can be more of a roller-coaster ride (as opposed to working in a large, already established company), but you’ll have more creative autonomy with the documentation and more challenges to learn new technologies.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, 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.