Essential software/programming skills for TC?

Subject: Essential software/programming skills for TC?
From: Phil <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L list <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 19:44:02 +0800

While I accept that in some sense this 'unanswerable' being dependent on employers/industries, I would nevertheless appreciate opinions on the following:

What are the essential software/programming skills a new tech communicatior MUST possess?

To give some context, I've been a 'writer' in various capacities for many years, needing little other than Word to do my work. Now in my 40s, I'm "retraining" in the sense of doing an MA in Tech Comm. While the MA is great for the 'soft' skills (theory of ID, Comm Planning, Audience Analysis, Usability etc) I find myself overwhelmed when looking at the trade in the variety of software/programming skills discussed. To name a few: QuarkXP, InDesign, Framemaker, Flare, RoboHelp, Dreamweaver, XML, Html, Java, Python, various C languages, Json, JQuery - and those are just off the top of my head.

Which, if any of these (and if not these, what else?) can I _NOT_ afford to have missing from my CV/Resume?

n.b. I know there are many other essential skills for being a TC that have nothing to do with software/programming, but I am pretty well aware of those already. Likewise, 'ability to learn any of the above quickly' is something I also recognise, but I'd appreciate specific answers to the question.

Thx in advance for any thoughts!


Phil Stokes BA MA TESOLcert
Language Instructor
Chulalongkorn University Language Institute
Phaya Thai Road


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