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The Unforgivable Sin in Silicon Valley: Being Gen-X |

If you grew up listening to Pearl Jam, you can kiss your high-tech dream job good-bye.

Source: The Unforgivable Sin in Silicon Valley: Being Gen-X |

Many thanks to Rachel Houghton, fellow technical communicator and Gen X’er, for finding this article and passing it along to me.

Oh, I’m so delighted by this article! This is a very good explanation of what’s going on in the tech field, and it does affect those of us in technical communication as well.  Even I admit that I don’t put my college graduation year on my resume, and even the least recent thing I have on my resume is about 18 years old (it’s when my shift to IT/tech comm happened, so anything before that doesn’t really matter much anyway)–with a gap, no less, where I leave little part-time jobs that don’t pertain to tech comm out, and were also the years that I spent as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom).  We can’t forget that part–that parents who take time off to care for their children, or people who have to care for someone ill in their family and need to take extended time off–get penalized, too.

But this has become a bigger and bigger problem as time moves along, and this article validates this problem. The author of this article suggests that we form unions and such. Well, our generation isn’t used to doing that. How many tech unions are there anyway? I would join up if I knew one existed. How do you join a union if you are a perpetual contractor, because you can’t get anything but contract work rather than full-time employment? That’s an issue in our industry.  This is where the professional societies really, REALLY need to start stepping in more.  That means STC, IEEE-ProComm, ISTC–you name them, they should be helping with this endeavor, or providing more support on these issues, as we are not only a large group, but we are also the same ones who are trying to keep these professional societies afloat.

What do you think about this article? Include your comments below.



Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

3 thoughts on “The Unforgivable Sin in Silicon Valley: Being Gen-X |

  1. John beat me to it. Per the article, if Gen-X’ers are up against it, then Boomers are simply beyond the pale. My goodness.

    We (all of us) do indeed need to push back. One way might be to say, “No — I’m not a digital native. That means that everything I know about digital technology, I learned. Purposefully, with a view toward developing expertise in this field. My knowledge of technology isn’t accidental. It’s intentional.”

    Will they listen? I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot.

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