A Reflection of Technical Writing at Penn State (English 202C)Submitted by mmilutinovic1313 on Thu, 12/08/2016 - 16:16
English has not always been my favorite subject. I was not always keen on analyzing books, writing essays on authors, and obsessing over grammar. When I learned I had to take a technical writing course before graduation, I was a bit concerned. I figured it would be a course that had little to no value as it was a required course that all the students just sought to drudge through. I am happy to say that I was very wrong. English 202C was, perhaps, one of the most informative courses I have taken during my college career and has provided me with many life-skills in writing for a professional environment. The structure of the course was set up very logically. We began the semester looking at how to write effective resumes, cover letters, and emails. The biggest takeaway from this project was KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Although I had some background in many of these concepts, I appreciated that the coursework was very practical and applicable, as I was applying to jobs at that time.
This final project (creating an E-Portfolio) is also, perhaps, one of the most applicable projects I have completed in college. I have wanted to create a website for myself for the past 3 years but was always too busy to sit down and set it up myself. Through this project, I was able to start a website and focus on building a professional portfolio to show to the world. I decided to make this website in Drupal to showcase my Drupal Development skills that I have highlighted on my resume, as well as, prove to myself that I have the ability to setup my own site on a server and configure its content properly.
I am sad I did not take this class earlier in my college career. I think it would have been best to take this course sophomore or junior year; a time when I was looking for internships and beginning my job hunting. By the time I was working on the job package project, I was already interviewing with companies. I think this class had more to offer than merely the writing part of technical writing. It provided me with background knowledge about how important design is when creating technical documents, and that often, the design can be more important than the writing itself. I also learned that "Less is More", as often it is better to write fewer words and instead write text with better and more detailed information.
I must give credit to the course for helping me secure my full-time software development position at Liberty Mutual in the summer of 2017. I believe that through technical writing coursework, I was able to efficiently and effectively communicate my skills as a software developer during my interviews and through online communication. I am quite excited to work at Liberty Mutual and begin my career learning about all aspects of technology. I cannot wait to see where my future career and life will take me :)