Re: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word

Subject: Re: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word
From: "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Tony Rocco" <tony -at- roundpeg -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 15:31:12 -0800

I am afraid I have to agree. I know a lot of nice writers who smith words
well, but I can't bring them in to work with us. They think they don't need
to know technical stuff, or they have no idea how to design a help screen to
be useful, or they can't add to the UI development cycle because they have
no idea what the MS standard for something is or how to find out what it is.
They know little about usability studies in docs or anything else or
testing. They don't know about good visual design. And they wonder why they
can't command high hourly rates.

Smithing words is very important to what we do but it simply is not enough.
What we do covers all the above and more. Lots more.


Sharon Burton-Hardin
President of the Inland Empire chapter of the STC
Anthrobytes Consulting
Check out!

----- Original Message -----
From: Tony Rocco <tony -at- roundpeg -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, 20 January, 2000 3:14 PM
Subject: RE: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word

| Sorry, Mark, but I beg to differ. You're idea of what a tech writer is in
| this day and age is narrow and unrealistic, least in the software
| development world. I have been in this business for most of a decade and
| jobs have never been pure writing jobs (and that's OK with me). Many tech
| writers have developed skills and abilities beyond writing, editing, and
| researching because their jobs demand it. I have worked with good
| good managers, good technical people, all of whom carried the title
| Technical Writer. This is an eclectic profession and it demands skills in
| many areas. You might find jobs that only require writing and editing, but
| in the software world, they are few and far between.
| Tony
| Technical writing is about writing. Technical writers should not be asked
| do DTP. It is a waste of their time and their talent. Technical writers
| forced to do DTP spend more than half their time on layout and production
| tasks. These tasks should be performed by people with the proper aptitudes
| and skills. Writers should spend their time on research and writing.

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