RE: XML & the future of tech writing - 2 thoughts

Subject: RE: XML & the future of tech writing - 2 thoughts
From: "Wally" <Wally -at- pctrader -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 07:04:54 -0800

Erika wrote:
If we agree that knowing the tools is less important that understanding
product + knowing how to write, then we should convince employers that
knowledge of a specific tool is not an important hiring criteria, but a
secondary one. I still see a lot of ads mentioning tools as MUST
requirements. ...

>From over 10 years of contracting up and down the west coast, my
experience has been that shops/clients who demand certain 'tool/app'
experience/expertise were usually the worst clients. My best clients
were those who reviewed and discussed my samples with me, asked about
and discussed my approaches to generating documentation, and only after
all that was done talked about tools. IOWs, they understood that knowing
a certain tool or tools was a pretty trivial part of being 'qualified.'
If one cannot write, cannot gather & chase down information, doesn't
want to learn new things, cannot adjust to priorities and deadlines and
isn't willing to be professionally flexible; then being an expert with
some tool(s) means nothing unless all you're doing is updated/revising
existing documentation using material that's handed to you.

I recall one interview (successful) when I had to tell them that I had
not used Robo for a couple of years, and versions, or for generating
HTML Help. She simply said, "You can learn all that in an afternoon."
End of discussion. And, I did.

Wally Glassett
Technical Documentation
Digital Integrator, Inc.
Incline Village, NV

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