Tools versus skill set

Subject: Tools versus skill set
From: "Tammy Van Boening" <info -at- spectrumwritingllc -dot- com>
To: "TechWhirl List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 13:22:45 -0600


I have a colleague who has a superb set of skills for a job about which she
was recently contacted - many, many years in the field in internal QC and
auditing documentation, but the potential employer is all hung up about her
lack of a single software tool. We all know that tools are secondary and
that it's the underlying skills that are critical. (I can't tell you how
many tool monkeys I have worked with during my career that couldn't write
their way out of a paper sack! I at least had one potential employer
recognize this and state "that he could get a trained monkey to learn the
tool to produce OLH - he needed someone who understood the data flow of the
product and how to appropriately chunk and organize the information" - I got
the job, learned the tool and both sides were pleased.) That said, she is
not giving up, and I am helping her in redoing her resume that truthfully
and forcefully highlights her pertinent skill set. What I am looking for is
any references/articles that you may have tucked away in your archives that
provide a solid argument about why tools are frequently secondary - it's the
person's talent that you want. I swear I remember reading an article about
this topic in an STC journal (I think by the ubiquitous Mr. Hart) but for
the life of me, I can't seem to dig it up.

Any and all references/links/ etc. are sincerely appreciated. I know that
the many gurus and guru-esses on this list will have some guidance and



Tammy Van Boening


Spectrum Writing, LLC

email: info -at- spectrumwritingllc -dot- com



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!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Previous by Author: RE: A litte humor: Spell check anyone?
Next by Author: Is anyone a member of the Association of Support Professionals
Previous by Thread: RE: format for references to topic headings in online help
Next by Thread: Re: Tools versus skill set

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads