Re: Newbie in Houston?

Subject: Re: Newbie in Houston?
From: Christi Carew <christi -at- sageinst -dot- COM>
To: pix_l -at- geocities -dot- com
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 10:08:04 -0800

I hope this isn't too late, I was on vacation for a few days. My coupela
cents worth...

April wrote:
><<Also, I'm interested in knowing what I need to be marketable in
>this field. I only have a 2-year degree, so I'm starting back to
>school in the spring. What major(s) would you recommend?>>

Geoff wrote:
>Depends what your degree is in, and how hung up local companies
>are on getting people with degrees. If the degree isn't in technical
>communication, you may have more trouble finding work; if it is,
>going back to school may be less important than having a good
>track record and marketable skills. Speaking of which:

I add:
I'd say that experience tends to be more valuable than school, at least
around here (Silicon Valley). I started getting my certificate in TW a
couple of years ago and (for various reasons) have had to stretch it out.
However, not actually having the certificate has never prevented me from
getting a job. Typically (earlier on) any reservations were about
experience (or the lack of).

April continued to write:
><<Lastly, I'm thinking of buying and teaching myself a page layout
>program because the positions I seek inevitably require experience
>with either Pagemaker or Framemaker. Which one would you
>recommend and is learning one synonymous with learning the
>other? >>

Geoff continued to write:
>Much though I love PageMaker, it's Frame (or Word) that rules the
>documentation roost. If you can only learn one, make it Frame.
>(That's assuming you already know Word; if you don't, then take
>some time to get good at it too. Knowing at least one of the two
>packages seems to be pretty much a prerequisite for working in
>tech. comm. these days.) Although basic layout skills tend to
>transfer well between programs, PM and Frame are sufficiently
>different that learning one won't give you what you need to work
>immediately in the other; in particular, Frame uses a different
>metaphor, has a steeper learning curve, and requires more
>discipline to use properly (PM tends to be more free-form).

I continue to add:

I would agree that Frame "rules the documentation roost". However, I would
claim that Frame is easier to learn than PageMaker. I think you'd get
varying opinions from everyone. I would also agree that the skills of
learning one aren't really transferrable to the other, but becoming more
familiar and comfortable with using computer programs in general usually
makes learning a new program a little easier each time.

Christi Carew
Technical Writer

christi -at- sageinst -dot- com
p. 831-761-6565
f. 831-761-2452

Sage Instruments
240 Airport Blvd.
Freedom, CA 95019
Christi Carew
Technical Writer

christi -at- sageinst -dot- com
p. 831-761-6565
f. 831-761-2452

Sage Instruments
240 Airport Blvd.
Freedom, CA 95019

"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"
-Albert Einstein

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