Absence of FrameMaker from your skill set -- what does it say?

Subject: Absence of FrameMaker from your skill set -- what does it say?
From: Ava Cassidy <ava -dot- m -dot- cassidy -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:06:37 -0400

First, some background: Our company is in the midst of trying to create a
consistent tools strategy. Right now we have only a handful of writers, all
using different tools (I'm one of the writers and I use Frame, two others
use Word, and a fourth uses RoboHelp almost exclusively.) We do not have a
doc manager. All of the writers report to different engineering managers,
and there is no one in charge of a doc strategy.

There's a strong sentiment among some of our managers in favor
of standardizing on Frame. However, when we posted a job listing recently,
there were some different opinions over what it should say, and whether
FrameMaker should be listed as a requirement or as a plus. In the end, it
was not mentioned in the posting at all.

So, um, clearly many things are wrong with this picture, but my specific
question has to do with what's a reasonable skill set to expect from a
seasoned tech writer. I've been asked to help sort through the resumes, and
none that I've seen so far list FrameMaker as a skill (nor anything as
"fancy" as structured authoring). My question is: Does the lack of
FrameMaker on your resume suggest a lack of seriousness about the
profession? Or am I just being a total FrameMaker snob to even ask that?

If you're someone who doesn't like or doesn't want to use Frame, I apologize
if this is an offensive question! It's just that, at every company I've
worked at (three jobs, over a total of 10 years), we've used Frame as our
primary authoring tool, and the notion of possibly getting pushed into using
Word sends chills up my spine. And I'm just surprised to see so many resumes
that don't have it (even though our own job posting didn't ask for it).


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