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Q&A with Business and Technical Writing Instructor Sean Poole

What courses do you teach at VCC?
I teach several of the courses in the Business and Technical Writing certificate program.

What do you love about teaching?
For me, the joy of teaching is sharing your knowledge until it isn’t yours anymore. That’s how knowledge should work – it should belong to anyone who wants it!

What is your current career?
I am a technical writer by trade, and have been officially since 2015. Unofficially, I’ve been creating business and technical documents for my entire career, since 1997.

How did you become a technical writer?
Tech writing is a second career for me, following an 18-year career in industrial automation sales. I had decided the sales world was no longer for me, and was in the middle of retraining at VCC when I was laid off. That was the time to solidify my new career!

How did you learn technical writing?
I went through the same VCC program that I’m now teaching in, and accepted the mentorship of an experienced writer who helped me learn the trade and some of the tools. I benefited from a wonderful series of circumstances.

Who is your favourite author?
Neil Gaiman. I adore his blend of intense research (especially into the various mythologies he’s translated to page) with carefully planned world and story building, topped with a truly dry British humour. I had the opportunity to meet him at a reading once, and I asked him if he would ever consider writing a British pantomime – he looked genuinely intrigued!

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out?
Be willing to work somewhere you didn’t expect to, doing something that isn’t your ideal vision. I landed my first tech writing gig working for a software company, which was completely new to me. Not only did I get to learn a whole host of new things, but I got to broaden my horizons and be much more adaptable – something any new tech writer needs to be!