Worthless Tech Comm Degrees

Subject: Worthless Tech Comm Degrees
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 10:10:24 -0800 (PST)

I saw this in a recent thread. I am NOT slamming the poster, but tech comm
degrees in general.

> When I did my tech comm degree, we were taught about concepts
> (white space, fonts, page layout, usability, etc.)

And they probably didn't spend 1/100th of a second actually teaching anything
useful like how a network works, what inheritance is, or how to break down a
complex design into component pieces. Basically, tech comm degrees teach you
how to hold a hammer, what a nail is, and how a house should look - but not how
to nail boards together. So when you get out on the construction site, you can
pontificate for hours about how you need better nails and more appropriate
hammers, but you lack the skill to actually USE those tools effectively.

I've been watching this idiotic debate about FrameMaker - and it never ceases
to amaze me how many people just don't get it: Nobody cares what tools were
used if the document SUCKS!!!

FrameMaker is totally, utterly, one billion percent irrelevant if your document
contains inaccurate, misleading, or disorganized information. This is why the
remainder of the known universe thinks FrameMaker is a big, bloated, useless
dinosaur. Because only tech writers have this bizarre, quasi-sexual attachment
to it.

Now - I know you're all going to have 97 3/4 hissy fits explaining how layout
and organization are important to a document. Feh. Never at expense of the
data, Bubba.

Hence the ubiquitous Tech Comm degree. Class after class of how to use
whitespace and never a moment devoted to learning how to digest information.
Hours and hours of pointless debates about FrameMaker - and never a moment
spent talking about ACTUAL topics you may one day document. Professor after
professor who hasn't spent a single minute in the real world.

At least an English degree makes you read Shakespeare and write an essay once
an a while (unless you go to the college here in Portland, where I think
smoking bongs and drinking beer qualifies as a midterm).

Sorry - I am a little caustic today. I am doing my corporate taxes. Get back to
work, YOU!

Andrew Plato

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