RE: Buying software oneself in order to learn it

Subject: RE: Buying software oneself in order to learn it
From: "Steve Arrants" <stephena -at- compbear -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 13:47:52 -0800

Ellen Vanrenen asks:
> Is it customary for technical writers to buy software
> themselves to load on their PCs in order to learn that
> particular software? I have bought RoboHelp and FrameMaker,
> and I am thinking of buying Photoshop. Or, do most technical
> writers find more clever and less costly ways to pick up
> skills? If so, what are these ways?

If the company doesn't offer trial versions, or a version with disabled
features, there are a couple of ways to pick up some skills.
If you're just going to be doing some simple tasks--converting images,
minor edits, and the like, I'd go someplace like Kinko's or the like and
rent time on a computer to learn how to do these tasks. Along with an
introductory third-party book on the software, this can get you started
with the basics as well as help you decide if shelling out a couple of
hundred dollars for the full version is worth it.

Or, take a night class at a community college, Learning Annex, etc. that
gives you access to the software in a more formal training program. I
know that Adobe used to (still does?) run free day long/single afternoon
seminars on their software around the country, and that while it was
mostly a sales presentation, the Adobe folks had discounts available to
purchase the software as well as trial versions to give away.

Steve Arrants

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Buying software oneself in order to learn it: From: Ellen Vanrenen

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