Re: Important software for T. W.s

Subject: Re: Important software for T. W.s
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 19:59:27 -0500

On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 19:17:20 -0500, Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:
David Neeley wrote:
In most tech doc departments I've seen, usually there are one or two
who are looked upon as the "tools guys" ... the folks who are more
knowledgeable about the software and hardware than the others might
care to be. They are often called upon to explain things to those who
are new to a particular tool. However, this is also very often a
rather thankless designation, rarely regarded in my experience as
being nearly of the significance of a very talented analyst and
And, speaking from personal experience, admitting that you know
something about tools is tantamount to declaring that you are
focused on trivia and that your opinion on more substantive matters
is of no value. I'm beginning to appreciate the tactic of feigning
ignorance of matters technical.
Two sides to this: if you don't claim to know the tools, no one wants
to interview you because the only "skills" they are looking for are tools.
As we all already know, the writing--organizing facts and presenting
them well--is the important part of the job.
But if you're someone like me, at home with electromechanical stuff,
you not only get sucked into explaining how to use software, but fixing
broken equipment, too. I used to maintain a daisywheel printer with
paperclips and rubber bands. Everyone knew I was damn good at it, but
the work I did on that machine never showed up favorably at review
time. At a previous job (am I showing my age here?) I stopped admitting
that I could do H-plate adjustments on an ASR-33. At another job I
fixed some meatware, an EE who was scared of thunder and didn't know
why. Awesome stuff, but it goes nowhere in getting that tech writing job.
I guess I'd better not admit that I also helped cow-orkers break into
their keys-locked-inside cars. Cheezez, I'm going out on a google limb.


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Important software for T. W.s: From: Jess P
Re: Important software for T. W.s: From: David Neeley
Re: Important software for T. W.s: From: Dick Margulis

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