Doing Good with Technical Communication Skills

Practice, practice, practice. That may be a familiar phrase to anyone who played a musical instrument as a child. It's a phrase you can apply to all of your skills. It's also a phrase that pops up on technical communication discussion lists whenever the topic of "unemployment" or "just starting out" pops up. Someone will suggest people maintain or improve skills - or develop new skills - in some open-source type project where there is no pay, but plenty of opportunity to learn and, well, practice. This post is for sharing a few of those places of practice.
  • I could be - Be a mentor for the next generation (school students).
  • Taproot Foundation - Pro "bono junkies" do pro bono marketing, HR, IT, and strategy management consulting services for nonprofits.
  • Floss manuals - Contribute to FLOSS Manuals, the collection of manuals about free and open source software. (FLOSS means Free Libre Open Source Software.)
The first two items were shared on Twitter by Michelle Depres, member of the STC Rocky Mountain chapter. Anyone involved in technical communication will come across the FLOSS manuals sooner or later, especially if you run into Janet Swisher, Anne Gentle, or Scott Abel, who actively participate in and promote the FLOSS project for technical communicators. Doing good while you work on your technical communication skills - what a great idea! Use the comments to add other great projects and debate who benefits the most - them… or you?

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