OT: Tools Training

Subject: OT: Tools Training
From: SusanP <susanp -at- astound -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 12:44:54 -0500

My two cents:
Someone wrote:
> In any case, if a technical writing candidate asks for tool >
training it is a sure sign they don't have what it takes to
> be a technical writer. If you can't figure out how to work > a
software package by yourself, how will you ever learn
> about the new products you will be documenting? There won't be >
any manuals or training available until you write them!

To which someone else replied:

This is the best thing I've heard yet! If someone doesn't have the
ability to learn a software package on their own, I don't think they have
any business attempting to document other software packages.
I couldn't tell if you guys were being sarcastic or not from your comments.
If you weren't then you're saying that a TW who asks for product (i.e., s/w
package) training doesn't have the ability to do his/her job and has no
business in our field. What's the difference between TWs and programmers who
are taking courses to learn a new programming language or a newer version of
a language? Are you saying that we're better than the programmers <grin>?
Your reasoning is slightly faulty. People take courses to learn the basics,
intermediate, and advanced features/nuances of a product. I agree with you
that we shouldn't be taking the basic level courses (unless you've had
absolutely no experience whatsoever in the computer or product field) but
there's nothing wrong in wanting to become more familiar with a product. I
mean if I was a Cobol programmer I'm sure that I could learn C or C++ on my
own, but a course helps validate my knowledge and teaches me things that I
wouldn't pick up from a textbook or on my own. In addition, a classroom
environment allows you to meet people who can become valuable resources.
Susan

-----Original Message-----
From: Debbie Packer [SMTP:dpacker -at- stingrayboats -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2000 1:59 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: New Hires

Mark Baker wrote:

> In any case, if a technical writing candidate asks for tool
> training it is a sure sign they don't have what it takes to
> be a technical writer. If you can't figure out how to work
> a software package by yourself, how will you ever learn
> about the new products you will be documenting? There won't be
> any manuals or training available until you write them!

This is the best thing I've heard yet! If someone doesn't have
the ability to learn a software package on their own, I don't
think they have any business attempting to document other
software packages.

On another note, here's my input.

I received a BBA in Information Systems and decided to continue my
eduction
to get a Technical Communication oriented degree while I worked. We
ended up
moving last year and I haven't even thought about continuing my
pursuit, but
there was one class I took that I thought was excellent. It was an
editing
class. About two weeks into the course we were asked to begin
looking for a
project in the area we wanted to work. I chose a user's guide for
our
accounting software at the university that was in major need of
revision and
required several additions. Our project was to edit the item that we
chose
and add anything that needed to be added. It was a semester long
project,
but probably the best thing I could have done for a couple of
reasons: The
project was real world (it is still in use) and I worked with our
users and
our programmers to complete the project.

This kind of project is really good for providing real world
experience,
especially if an intern is not an option.

Debbie

------------------------------------------------------------
Debbie Packer - Web Developer - http://www.stingrayboats.com

Click here if you want to get paid to surf the web:
http://www.alladvantage.com/home.asp?refid=ATA-714




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