Re: Tools for Newbies

Subject: Re: Tools for Newbies
From: Debbie Stewart <Debbie_Stewart -at- SIECOR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 10:02:06 -0500

I recenlty graduated from a Tech Comm program and am astounded at the lack
of computer skills I have. It is not so much lacking in the ability to
learn Word, Lotus Notes or FrameMaker, etc, as a lack of understanding of
SGML, HTML, JavaScript, RoboHelp, and all of those newer technologies.
There is online documentation, online help, software documenation, product
documentation, design specs, authoring tools, programming languages,
etc.There are printed and electronic documentation and the different
software to produce them.

I would encourage programs to develop more courses on the new technologies
from a technology prespective. Having a theoretical knowledge of this
technology (esp electronic media) is better than getting into the real
world and feeling a bit clueless. Yes, there are hundreds of software
applications and tools out there, but they seem to fall into some major
categories. Understanding the theory behind those categories and not the
specific applications would better prepare students for the real world.

Another area, is in the project development and management area. My job is
not about being a tech writer as it is a facilitator. I am required to
develop teams of experts and bring them together and extract the
information in a fun, entertaing, and productive way. I am expected to
interview the people in IS and determine what needs to be done and then
bring the team together. It is suppose to be as painless as possible for
them, like they never even knew their brains had been tapped.

Knowing more about project management and devleopment, a few required
computer technology courses, and understanding the tools available would be
a real boon for students. All of the JAD, PERTS, RAD, FIPS, DFD, ERD, BRR,
BAA, CAPP, CASE, PIECES, and WAMI is a lot to learn for newbies when they
are trying to learn their employer's business needs.

Thanks, whew, a newbie LoneWriter.

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