Re: PET PEEVE #3148

Subject: Re: PET PEEVE #3148
From: Matt Ion <mion -at- DIRECT -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 1995 19:23:00 PDT

On Fri, 7 Jul 1995 13:11:08 -0700 you wrote:

> Does anyone else get as aggravated as I do when browsing
> want ads for tech-writer positions, to find prospective
> employers specifying the brands/models of software tools as
> REQUIREMENTS for the positions?

All the time.

> E.g.: "XYZ Corp. seeks
> user documentation specialist for its industry-leading
> SoftWidget software. Documentation experience preferred.
> Familiarity with MS Word [or WordPerf, or Pagemaker, etc.]
> a must."

Ever notice how the ones that inist on you knowing a specific tool, want it to
be the WRONG tool for the job (ie. MS Word for doing dtp)? Probably because
they're too embarassed to buy something appropriate and thereby admit they

> I can understand a company's need to standardize its staff
> on certain tools, but why should this be a barrier to
> employment for an otherwise highly qualified professional?
> Don't they know that the learning curve for a different
> but comparable tool (Word vs. WordPerf, PM vs. Framemaker,
> PC vs. Mac, etc.) is usually just a week or two?

Learning new software is generally moot compared to the skill and time needed
for such a major job. Unfortunately, an applicant with excellent writing
skills and loads of experience will probably lose out to the one who writes,
"I want the job, and I can spel real good cuz I know Worrd and use the
spel-cheeker all the time!"

> An analogy: "Skilled carpenter wanted. Some woodworking
> experience preferred, but must use Black & Decker model
> 9312 hammer."

Now that would REALLY worry me, since B&D doesn't make hammers =)

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