Links for the week

Writing Policies and Procedures Manuals: What’s a Policy? What’s a Procedure? at Technical Communication Center

Useful links for tech writers at Everyone’s Blog Posts – Technical Writing World

Advice about breaking into tech comm at Kai’s Tech Writing Blog

Subtle Differences at Technical Writing Tips for the Oil Patch

Ivan Walsh – A Technical Communication Interview at Technical Communication Center

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Software We Use

There seems to be a debate as to what is the best software for Technical Communicators to use. It would be nice if you could choose your software, but there are those of us who are told to use what the company uses. And that’s what we have to use. Yet for ourselves, if we had enough money, we could choose to install the software we felt most comfortable with. However, for us mere mortals, that is just a dream, and we use what the computer comes with. Perhaps we supplement with some freeware or software that is old enough to be marked down in price. But the concept is the same – most professional software is well beyond our reach.

If you had your druthers, what would you choose? And why?

The next question I have to ask is why is software so important to recruiters and hiring managers? It really doesn’t define what we do, yet that seems to be what they look at first. Some people are FrameMaker people, others are Word people. Some people use Help Authoring Tools (like RoboHelp), others create them from scratch (by using DreamWeaver or some other HTML authoring tool). Just because the company uses one brand of software and you prefer another brand, doesn’t mean you can’t learn the other brand. And it shouldn’t mean that you are automatically counted out of the running. (Shouldn’t, but we all knows that sometimes it does.)

What do you think? As usual, comments are always welcome!