Re: Who buys the software?

Subject: Re: Who buys the software?
From: Mary McWilliams Johnson <mary -at- SUPERCONNECT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 21:54:47 -0500

I've been contracting as a technical writer for ten years. Although it's
nice to think that your employer will furnish the software you need, I've
found it expedient to own and learn to use the typical software that I
think there will be a demand for.

When clients are looking for contract workers, they're not willing to
train. The hourly rates for contractors are higher simply because the
client is hiring someone fully trained, fully equipped, and ready to jump
in and do the work in a short time. Another advantage of owning the
software yourself is that you can do the work from your home office.

I constantly buy and update software, and continually go to school to keep
my skills sharp. I consider it a cost of doing business; so naturally all
my software, equipment and training expenses get deducted on my Schedule C.


Mary McWilliams Johnson
McJohnson Communications
Documentation Specialist
Web Site Design, Development and Graphics
"One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it,
you have no certainty until you try."
--Sophocles, c 496-406 B.C

At 06:40 AM 9/3/98 PDT, Taylor Lincoln wrote:
>I have some general questions on the procedures and protocols of
>contracting part-time, and outside of regular working hours:
>1. Is that type of work typically available? It seems that most of the
>discussion of contracting on this list is about full-time, temporary
>2. Who pays for the necessary software to carry out an assignment? I
>assume that the company would provide copies of the software they would
>like documented, but what about software needed to compose the
>documentation, e.g. RoboHelp or FrameMaker. Is this generally the
>responsibility of the contractor, or the employer?
>Taylor Lincoln
>Advanced Technology Systems
>Arlington, VA

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