In November 2013, I decided to start my own professional business in technical communications for the computer industry. In December, my friend Alana Riley, who does amazing branding and business communications, helped design a logo, business cards, and a URL for my business under the name CATALYST Technical Communications. If you need branding and/or marketing communications, I highly recommend her.
If you look online for technical writer/editor positions in the computer industry, you will see that positions often have a lengthy list of technical skills to go along with the writing ones. One high-demand skill set involves web dev, whether it’s XML, HTML, CSS, Java, PHP, etc.
During my gradate studies, I learned the basics of XML. On my own, I took a series of basic HTML/CSS classes with a very cool woman-led non-profit coding organization called Girl Develop It. For $80 to cover the instructor’s time, I went to four highly-attended classes with upwards of 30 women in each class. The classes were kindly hosted by a Cambridge-based firm called Custom Made that pairs artisans with people who want custom-made goods, everything from jewelry to furniture and more. They even bought us pizza every time! Although I know female coders, I have never been in a room with so many women interested in learning programming. I found it inspiring. I recommend GDI classes to anyone interested learning to code.
In 2014, I made it one of my work goals to learn HTML/CSS. Today I began to review the basic course materials on HTML/CSS that GDI makes available publicly and apply it to my own web site. Even if I ultimately decide to use a custom WordPress theme, I will get some much-needed coding practice in.
Now off a-coding I go!