Re: Educational areas to pursue

Subject: Re: Educational areas to pursue
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 08:56:39 -0800 (PST)

--- Paul DuBois <paul -at- kitebird -dot- com> wrote:

> But that is going from accomplished techwriter to accomplished techwriter
> who also knows some programming. That's different than going from
> accomplished techwriter to programmer.

And being a programmer for a while would be beneficial, as it would make that
person a better writer of software documentation.

> Sure. If you remain a writer. If you're being asked to shift from
> writer to programmer, that's quite a different thing.

A good thing. An opportunity to learn new things and expand your skills.

Personally, I have a hard time understanding why anybody would turn down an
opportunity to try new things. The only reason I can see, is that they simply
don't want to learn new things. They don't want to be honestly better at their
job. They want to take the path of least resistance.

Learning programming when you document software will make you a better writer.
But if you reject that experience because it doesn't fit your career goals -
well, then why are you working there? If you don't want to do the job your
employer asks you to do, quit. Find work that more appropriately matches your
career goals.

> > It would however be hard and I realize this would take many writers away
> from
> > there beloved tasks of fondling fonts, twisting templates, and masticating
> > methodologies.
> Um, that's an unnecessary and irrelevant shot. It detracts from your
> argument by making it look as though it needs to be bolstered through
> the addition of ridicule.

It bookends my motivations for my argument. It also opens the door to the other
side of the argument. If a writer rejects technical training, what are they
embracing? Usually one-off work of marginal value.

> Are these classes on company time, or on my time? If they're on my time,
> is it unreasonable to expect to be paid for that time?

No it isn't. First off, I have never heard of a company paying time for
attending classes. Second, YOU are getting something out of this in the end.

If a company pays for you to attend a MySQL course, and you go after work. You
get to keep those MySQL skills after you depart the company. In fact many
people do just that. They drill their employer for education and then take off
the minute they get it. The company has then laid out $$$ for your education
but does not get the benefit from it.

I see this as another one of the "I want my cake, I want to eat it, and I want
you to pay me to eat it too" type arguments. If an employer pays for your
education, it is absurd to think they are going to also pay your time to attend
those courses.

Andrew Plato

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Re: Educational areas to pursue: From: Paul DuBois

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