Re: Certification/Degrees

Subject: Re: Certification/Degrees
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 12:43:28 -0600

>>"Professional" is not a stamp on the forehead. It's a set of values &
>>attitudes manifested in behaviors. Some auto mechanics are professionals,
>>some doctors are flat-rate-book mechanics.
>Good point, but it's proof for the opposition. If "profession" is a set of
>values and attitudes manifested in behaviors, but there isn't a
>commonly-accepted and enunciated set of values and attitudes, you don't have
>a profession; you have situation ethics.

<tale of Joe the Auto Mechanic snipped>

>That is professionalism in the abstract. Professionalism in the specific is,
>indeed, the behaviors that spring from the committment to professionalism in
>the abstract. But that's how all professionalism works, not just ours. It's
>no longer enough to just shove paper out the back door and proclaim that
>it's good work, because nobody can gainsay it. Rather than endless
>subjective standards for performance, we need an objective one.

>Tim Altom
>Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
>317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
>FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
>FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
>HTML Help Consulting and Production

Let's pursue another angle to this discussion. Let's suppose that I
worked for, managed, or even owned a technical documentation consulting
and services company. To create an edge over much of my competition and
to convince companies with a writing staff that they should contract my
group (instead of using their own staff), I would need something that
distinguishes my company's services. Maybe something like . . . . . . .
. a certificate!

Problem is, certification for this profession does not exist. The field
is a wide open frontier. Heck, any Joe who's ever written a word can
establish his own consulting firm and compete with me. Also, companies
can hire who they want for the positions without looking for the union
label. However, if I had this certificate I could point my finger at
the competition and say "I'm qualified and he's not. You have to hire
me" or "I know you have a writing staff, but are they certified?". The
trick is to make sure that the qualifications for certification are most
easily obtainable by myself and others in my consulting firm and harder
>for my competition and potential client's internal writing staff.

Mike Wing
| Michael Wing
| Principal Technical Writer
| Infrastructure Technical Information Development
| Intergraph Corporation
| Huntsville, Alabama
| (205) 730-7250
| mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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