Self-education to break into software doc employment

Subject: Self-education to break into software doc employment
From: Rick Lanser <rickl -at- SLIP -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 10:27:47 -0400

I'm trying to self-educate myself out of a career rut. Versatile with DOS
and many Windows-based programs (Word, Ventura, Quark, Corel Draw, et al),
I'd like to move out of writing user documentation for manufactured goods
into the apparently better-paying field of writing software documentation,
help files, and the like.

Can any of you Techwhirlers advise me on a course of action? Since my
present company doesn't use Framemaker (a very popular requirement seen in
want ads), has no use for writing Windows help, and doesn't see fit to give
me a shot at learning Unix on the Sun workstation, the chances of picking up
the most valuable work skills in the course of my present employment seem
nil. I'll have to get them some other way, on my own time.

What would you recommend? Should I invest my time in learning any particular
program, which will help me break into the burgeoning area of software
documentation? Is it worthwhile to pick up FreeBSD or Linux and experiment
with it in order to be able to tell a potential employer I know Unix?

Thanks in advance for your valuable advice!

Rick Lanser
Publishing Specialist, Graco Children's Products, Inc.
rickl -at- slip -dot- net
Don't put a damper on my metaphors.

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