I hope Gillian is correct. We currently have a few good writers in Pune,
India, but several atrocious ones as well. I don't think we need to worry
about China, but so far, the company I work for doesn't care. Maybe users
will convince them that keeping the jobs in the U.S. is a good idea.

Sean

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+spolloc1=hotmail....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+spolloc1=hotmail.com at lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf
Of Dodd, Frank J
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 5:33 PM
To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: RE: Outsourcing: Was Reasons to Structure

 So what exactly is the pay range for a technical writer? I ting I kan
rite gude and wude licke to chry eet. 
Seriously. Actually I create work instructions for about 80% of my work
time.

Frank

-----Original Message-----
From: Gillian Flato [mailto:gfl...@nanometrics.com] 
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 8:48 AM
To: Sean Pollock; russ at weststreetconsulting.com; Randall C. Reed
Cc: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Outsourcing: Was Reasons to Structure

Out here in Silicon Valley, they tried outsourcing. They found that
using Tech Writers whose first language wasn't English was a train
wreck. There writing skills were atrocious. After a few years of that,
they brought the Tech Writing back to Silicon Valley where they could
hire native-speaking educated English-speaking people. So they Tech
Writing jobs are coming back to Silicon Valley.

So been there, done that, it failed.

Additionally, there was a big article in the local paper (San Jose
Mercury News) last weekend about how  companies have found that
outsourcing tech support provided such a drastically poor quality of
customer service that the loss in business and customer satisfaction far
outweighed any cost benefits, so tech support is coming back to Silicon
Valley as well. 

So again, been there, done that, it failed.  

-Gillian


-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+gflato=nanometrics....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+gflato=nanometrics.com at lists.frameusers.com] On
Behalf Of Sean Pollock
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 8:57 PM
To: russ at weststreetconsulting.com; 'Randall C. Reed'
Cc: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: RE: Reasons to structure: another point of view

I've written documentation in the Detroit area for over 20 years and
although I know structured Frame and use a custom XML format with Epic
Editor/Manager in my present position, I find that most employers here
hardly know what FrameMaker is, let alone anything about structured
Frame and/or XML/reuse. Time and time again I see jobs that require only
a basic knowledge of Ms Office, and I ignore them because I don't think
these employers take documentation seriously. Admittedly, Detroit is in
bad shape these days, but from my side of the tracks I see few employers
who require Frame experience of any kind.

My advice is not to worry about attaining Frame guruhood. Instead,
diversify into training, biomedical, and other areas that will give you
an edge when most tech writing jobs have gone to India. Learn Adobe
Flash and Captivate to support those self-paced and instructor-led job
opportunities that seem to be floating our way; take Instructional
Design courses. 

It may be a slow boat, but outsourcing IS headed your way; the company I
now work for requires that we seek out tech writers in India, even
though I'm told that universities there don't offer much in the
necessary education.
All we can do is hope that those of us with the company for years aren't
canned to benefit the next IPO. Sorry for the dire forecast, but the
East and West coasts can't be far behind.

--Sean Pollock

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+spolloc1=hotmail....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+spolloc1=hotmail.com at lists.frameusers.com] On
Behalf Of russ at weststreetconsulting.com
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:19 PM
To: Randall C. Reed
Cc: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: RE: Reasons to structure

If you work for a company that doesn't accept qualified recommendations
for improvement from its staff, you should keep a resume up-to-date. No
company can last too long if it doesn't embrace innovation from the
lower levels.

I think the truth is, actually, that in the majority of cases, tech
writers are not qualified to proselytize on structure, because they
haven't really learned about it yet. Hence my original point, several
postings ago. You have to understand it to present a convincing business
case (show them the money, as it were).  In the past several years, I've
had relatively little difficulty getting acceptance from management for
new tools, methods, etc., because I understand the benefits and can
clearly enumerate the reasons for doing it.

I would like all tech writers to be this way, because I don't want us to
be second class in the arena of ideas. When it comes to tools and
methods involved with our work, we should be the primary influence on
what happens.
The key is, though, we need to know what we are talking about first. So
I say, get in there and learn. I don't believe for a second that there
are only a select few of us that can understand simple tools like
structured Frame. You just need to have the desire and understanding of
how important it is. 

 -------- Original Message --------
Subject:  RE: Reasons to structure
From: "Randall C. Reed" <randall.r...@forceprotection.net>
Date: Thu, February 15, 2007 9:11 am
To: <russ at weststreetconsulting.com>,<framers at lists.frameusers.com>

Russ West says: "It is so important for any tech writer to learn about
structured content..."

The funny thing is, in the majority of cases, we are not in a position
to proselytize for or against structured documentation. That's usually
decided several pay grades higher by contract deliverable or other
edict. We rarely. If ever, get to choose or even recommend! But a TW who
wishes to remain employable should be able to respond to structured or
unstructured requirements by being able to work in both. The general
trend in technical publishing, I predict (duh!), will require more
automation, more reusability, more interchangeability of data, not less.
If I had to bet on a winner in that horse race, my money would be on
more structured documentation, not less, in our collective future.


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