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

Subject: Absence of FrameMaker from your skill set -- what does it say?
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:20:14 +0300

I am going to respectfully and at least partially disagree with Connie
on this one.

I think it is demonstrably true that there are more important skills
than a particular tool to consider in hiring.

However, if you are going to actually move to Frame as your primary
authoring environment, in this job market it is simply unnecessary to
hire anyone, however qualified otherwise, who does not also bring a
high level of Fame expertise to the job.

There are *many* out there with other skills at an advanced level and
who *also* have extensive Frame experience...and thus will more
quickly become fully productive in your company without the learning
curve associated with Frame. Unlike some other tools, Frame is fairly
complex and time consuming to truly become proficient in at an
advanced level. Why pay for that learning curve if you don't have to?

You can afford to be much more picky today than you could when the
economy was stronger, simply because of such an enormous pool of
highly qualified candidates.

However, if you are truly moving to Frame, it was a major mistake not
to list that in the job posting--and unfair to candidates, IMNSHO.


On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 09:00, <techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> wrote:
> Behalf Of Ava Cassidy
> Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 8:07 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Absence of FrameMaker from your skill set -- what does it say?
> 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).
> thanks,
> Ava

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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