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I currently work full-time as a technical content writer at a software company, primarily creating software documentation, video tutorials, and web-based training. I have been in the tech industry for about 10 years and have done freelance writing on and off for about 5 years. I love the work I do, but I am eager to return to the flexibility of freelance work.

I'm expecting my first child later this year and will be raising him as a single mom, and it goes without saying that I desire more flexibility in my workday. I know that full-time work is more consistent and secure, but I want to be able to be there for my child, especially as he gets older, instead of being tied down to the office. Not to mention, save on childcare. I understand that caring for a child at home while working can be difficult, but its worth it to me, and I will be able to leave him with my mother 2-3 days during the week.

I am curious if anyone has advice on these questions--

Is contract work reliable and steady, especially in the realm of software documentation / training? I would need an income of at least 75K to be comfortable and hope to get to 100K one day. Is that unrealistic with my background?

Can tax write-offs come close to matching the benefits of full-time work (health insurance, paid holidays, 401K, etc.)? For example, the write-offs for a home office can be significant, especially with the cost of living in my area (southern California)! I understand that retirement savings can also be written off. Marketplace health insurance is expensive, but probably around the same cost as childcare.

If I decide this isn't a terrible idea, any tips for how I can safely transition to freelance work? I will be taking a few months of maternity leave, and am already picking up side work to bring in some extra savings. But transitioning to full-time freelance work seems a bit scary. I will be living at my mother's house after my child is born, so that will give me some stability and help me build savings before I find a place for just the two of us.

I know this post was long, but I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read it, and any advice or experience offered. Thank you for reading.

submitted by /u/wrighteous4
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Hey everyone..I work at an open source company, and am frequently asked how to get started with open source contributions. This is a topic I am passionate about because I have found immense value in working with open source projects. But my pet peeve is that while everyone agrees that contributing to open source is a great idea, nobody really talks about how to actually go about it:

- What is an open source project?

- How do you get started with one?

- What do you need to know to make meaningful contributions?

- What are the things to look out for, or things not to do?

So I am conducting a free webinar this Saturday to answer all these questions and also walk through a few open source projects I personally like. So join me on May 19 at 8:30 PM IST to discuss how to contribute to open source projects.

Here’s the registration link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/52becf806408f7f67510d14dfea9e911

submitted by /u/amruta2799
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My team's file structure is hosed and our naming conventions are nonexistent.

We're going to be moving to a CMS, but before we get there, I really want to pin down some best practices for naming files/graphics, and organizing them in folders.

I understand that this is a pretty broad question, but are there any guides out there that I can refer to for this purpose? What conventions does your group use?

Thanks.

submitted by /u/EatSleepLiftWrite
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Hey folks, I'm curious about job titles above and beyond Technical Writer 1. I've done some searching but I'm curious what you have in mind.
 
I've been with my current company for over two years now and during this time I have completed my Master's degree in Technical Writing and hit the 5+ year mark working as a technical writer. I'm looking at formally adding graphic design to my list of job responsibilities in my job description and would like to update my job title to reflect this. I have a coworker senior to me who holds the title Technical Writer 2, but I feel like that isn't a direction I want to go in. We also have one Senior Creative Designer in our team and I report to a Senior Content Architect who is the Technical Information Supervisor. My goal to expand my other skills beyond just technical writing and I would like a job title that reflects this.
 
Quick side note: As a part of my annual review I was offered a nice raise. I am not looking for any other changes to my salary in addition to a job title update. I will make sure to make this clear when I sit down to talk about this. I know this can be a big factor when job titles changes sometimes and I don't want to scare HR by making them think I am asking for more compensation.
 
TLDR; What are some other job titles that would fit a technical writer that does more than just technical writing?

submitted by /u/BoomFoxxy
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