Re: what tools to learn?

Subject: Re: what tools to learn?
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 09:26:25 -0600

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> I'm currently enrolled in a technical writing program, and I am trying to
> figure out what tools I need to learn.

> FrameMaker
> CorelDraw
> RoboHelp
> Visual Basic

> I'd appreciate any feedback about this list of tools, and suggestions for
> other ones that people think a beginning writer should know to be
> marketable.

Some advice from a CIT (Curmudgeon In Training). If you were applying for
a job as an auto mechanic, which of the following statements is more likely
to be valuable to a prospective employer?

1. I can use a screwdriver.
2. I can repair power steering pumps.

Granted, 1 is important -- you couldn't be a mechanic otherwise. But I
think that we tech writers are getting too fixated with technology.
FrameMaker doesn't write manuals. "I can use FrameMaker" covers pretty
much everyone from typists on up. Being able to say that you can use
FrameMaker will not make me hire you. At best it'll chop off a couple of
days of initial training, which I'm willing to sacrifice for someone who
can WRITE.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think FrameMaker = Screwdriver.
FrameMaker is much more complex. What I am saying is that I'm interested
in what you can DO with FrameMaker. That something came from FrameMaker
or PageMaker, or WhateverMaker is not important (unless you did something
impossible with the tool).

Show me you can write a manual or a help file -- show me that you know
the differences in the writing -- and I'll make sure you learn whatever
tools I happen to use.

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707 x122
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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