Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 07:55:19 -0400

6 words: "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"


Very true, Wade. In this case, the quality of the [tool] can improve
the output but knowledge on how to do the act needs to be there first.

Of note, I'm finding it interesting that so many people covet the
tools they use so much, and it's making me wonder if tech writers are
more specializing in tools use these days than technology or
methodology. I wonder this because if you know the technology you're
working with/in and you know the methods necessary to get your tech
writing job done based on the technology, then you have what you need
to succeed no matter what you need to use.

It's interesting to juxtapose this thread with the threads about rates
and "technical secretaries" and respect and the like. They all feed
into each other and really do paint an interesting picture of our
profession's landscape.

For kicks I asked a few buddies of mine (developers) what they'd do if
Borland's tools or some of the Java IDEs suddenly went away. The
echoed response was startling... "I'd use somethign else."

So let me put this out there... Why are we so different, and what is
it about our jobs, our profession, that makes us so heavily dependent
on and attached to tools?

And I'll come clean. I'm a long time FM+WWP user (in case you didn't
know). I've invested years in learning and re-learning (in the case of
WWP as they morphed their building block infrastructure over time) the
tools. The company I'm now with is heavily entrenched in using
FrameMaker (documentation, training, consulting services...). We
probably have over 3000 documents ranging in size from 10 pages to
1600 pages all in FrameMaker. I like FrameMaker, and I like WebWorks
Publisher. I'd rather use those tools than switch, but if the need
arises you bet I can change direction.

I consider it part of my job to know what's out there from vendors. I
keep up to date on tools, new technology, new methodologies, and what
have you. And I'd consider it a failure if I didn't have an "exit
strategy" for my "legacy content". I don't place bets that any one
technology is going to be around for the long haul, and I openly
invite and embrace change because change, even if it's one company
buying another and discontinuing products, almost always leads to

And innovation is a very cool thing.


On 4/19/05, The Peanut Gallery <wade -dot- courtney -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> However, using your analogy. A world class violinest can make
> beautiful music on *any* violin. It may not sound as good, but he can
> do it because the fundementals of his craft have not changed.
> <southern draw> Beggin to differ with you partner, but fiddle playing
> ain't nothing like them there concert violins. </southern draw> =0)
> W


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Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?: From: The Peanut Gallery

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