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

Subject: RE: Absence of FrameMaker from your skill set -- what does it say?
From: john rosberg <john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:45:01 -0500


You've gotten some good responses -- let me add my two cents (adjusted for inflation).

Frame is a great tool, for some tasks -- sadly, it's been considered the de facto industry standard for a fair amount of time, in spite of the fact that it is entirely unsuited for some types of work. We technical communicators are a small niche market, and there's not a great deal to choose from.

As a hiring manager in a Frame shop (a gig I had for years), I would certainly look at Frame experience as a nice to have. One of the things you hire when you get a good tech writer is a quick study. If they can make word sit up and beg, they can figure out most of Frame very quickly.

Though you didn't ask specifically, I would also like to comment on the lack of unity in tools selection throughout your company. While a common toolkit (and templates and processes and procedures, and company-branded t-shirts) certainly have much potential value (writers from different parts of the organization helping each other through peaks and valleys, for one example), it may be that the various tools they used were chosen because they are simply the best choices for the kind of work being done. I would counsel against force-fitting tools (or any other process, for that matter) unless there is an overwhelming need to do so. Small unit, guerrilla operations often confound large, better organized groups.

Best of luck in your decisions!

John Rosberg
Documentation and Training
john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com
2765 Deerfield Road
Riverwoods, IL 60015

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