TC Myths

All technical communication myths in place.

A technical writer with years of experience knows more than one with less experience

The number of years is not a reliable measure of experience.


Johnson (14 Widespread Myths about Technical Writing) describes several anecdotes of this being applied in workplace settings and observes, “Experience means nothing unless learning is taking place.” He continues later with, “The pace of learning can be compressed into a very short time period, or it can drawn out over a life time.”

Survival tips

Don’t rest on your laurels. Always be learning.


This is a variation of the saying, “Does he have 4,000 hours of experience or 1 hour of experience repeated 4,000 times.” Meaning, you can’t judge someone’s ability or skill simply by how long they have been doing it. Nevertheless, “years of experience” and “years of age” are frequently used as shortcuts to estimating ability and suitability. A better metric for this would be wonderful. (Innovations/year, perhaps?)



None, so far.