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For my current company, my manager encourages me to use the "down
time" to do some learning about things that both interest me and that are
somewhat related to what I do for this company. So for example, if I think
it would be useful for me to learn Java, I get a book or something online
and study. For a more direct writing related example, I also have purchased
a book on indexing. This is an area that I lack formal training in, and one
which I think is extremely important to writing good doc.
Tony Markatos responds:
I also use "slack periods" to learn new software tools. So does everyone
else where I work at (including the entire development staff). Such has
been the case at all companys that I have worked at as an employee
(contracting is a different story).
This really makes me wonder when I see a TW help-wanted add stating "Must
know PageMaker" or FrameMaker or whatever.