TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Excerpts from tech: 4-Dec-96 Re: Framemaker? by Keith Anderson -at- TRI -dot- COM
> I think tech writing students should be introduced to Macs, PCs, UNIX,
> Word, FrameMaker, Ventura, and even WinHelp tools. It's unfortunate, but
> most schools don't want to invest in the real-world tools or are so
> involved with their own political battles that departments with the
> resources to help each other will not work together.
This is one of the reasons I think that CMU's program is as good as it
is. We have a program called CSW (which they've rearranged a bit since
I've taken it), which is required for *all* students. It introduces
them to Macs, PCs, and UNIX, as well as FrameMaker, PageMaker, Excel,
and Word. Then, the TW program doesn't let you get away with not
knowing these programs--in the Intro course I had to write a short
manual for either Word 6.0 or PageMaker 5.0. (I wrote it for Word, in
PageMaker. Tells you how I feel about working in Word, doesn't it?)
> The reality is that our industry is vast. You never know what you will
> be working on next. That's business. I recently graduated after going to
> school part time for about eight years. If my school was a reflection of
> reality, the entire tech writing industry would be using Mac Classics
> with Word 5 and PageMaker 3. I even had a class two years ago in a room
> using TRS-80s.
*laughs* Good god. But it's much better than nothing, which is what
some people end up getting. :)