Re: Technical Writer Education (tools!?!)

Subject: Re: Technical Writer Education (tools!?!)
From: "Robert E. Garland" <robert -at- JTAN -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 20:49:29 -0400

> ><several layers of discussion snipped>
> >At the bare minimum, all tech writers should have knowledge of Microsoft
> >Word, and many do.
> <snip>

To which John P. Brinegar replied:
> Hold on!!
> MS Word is just one of the tools used by some (many even) but not all
> techwriters. And it's only a tool.
> An all too common misconception is that the primary qualifiers for tech
> writers are the tools they know how to use. Anyone who has the talent,
> education, knowledge, and experience to be a useful tech writer can learn
> to use a new tool in a short while.


> The tools often are, but seldom should be, a significant consideration in
> hiring a tech writer. Talent, education, knowledge, and experience are what
> are important.

However, if you peruse the solicitations for tech writers, you quickly
learn that the only important keywords are the name of the tools. Since
the screeners only know what is on the req, and often don't even know
what it means, you MUST have the keywords to pass the first screen.

Employment by buzzword. Only in America?

Robert Garland
Pennsylvania USA robert -at- jtan -dot- com

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