Synergistech is relaying this listing as a service to our candidates. We are officially in hibernation due to weak economic demand, so PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO US. Instead, read the whole listing, then send your resume directly to the hiring manager if you have the required qualifications. Principals only; do not forward this listing to recruiters.
For more info about Synergistech, our free lead-distribution service, and our new résumé-writing service, Life's Work, http://www.lifesworkservices.com, refer to this note's footer. Thanks, and good luck to us all.
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A note from Andrew
The Bay Area's job market appears to be rebounding, and the best way to ensure that you benefit sooner rather than later is to upgrade your skills. I've worked with the founders of The Center for Technical Understanding for over seven years, and strongly endorse their course offerings. If you are serious about your technical communications career, you owe it to yourself to consider the Center's classes. Compared to their competition, they're infinitely more affordable, accessible, and just plain effective.
Now you can upgrade your skills to improve your prospects in a rapidly reviving, but far tougher, technical writing marketplace.
In fact, public postings of Northern California technical writing positions rose by 80% from January to February, and by another 155% from February to March! (For more information about these statistics, refer to our website at http://www.ctr4techU.com.)
---------- A Far Tougher Marketplace ----------
Judging from the listings, this is a new, especially demanding, ultra-competitive marketplace, with far more rigorous requirements than we have known in the past. Since the top of the market over two years ago:
* Single-sourcing is now assumed; typically, from a single FrameMaker source document to PDF, HTML and XML. FrameMaker 7's structured authoring features have made previous versions obsolete.
* The newest browsers do not solve the problems of inconsistent HTML display and varying XML support, but they do add two more variations to the mix! Increasingly, templating decisions and graphics choices must take into account a more complex array of implications across the entire output spectrum.
* New demands from managers and developers require Technical Writers to hit the ground running, speak knowledgeably with developers, be self-reliant for context, and keep authoring issues off the project's critical path.
This harsh new marketplace presents the greatest opportunities we have ever seen for distinction in a mostly unprepared field!
---------- What the Center for Technical Understanding Offers You ----------
With the introduction of nine new classes in three categories - "Tools Guru", "Get Technical", and "Writer-Developer" - we now teach the full range of techniques we have used to save our Bay Area clients millions of dollars over the past 17 years. Far more than a "how to be a Tech Writer" program, these courses share our extensive and varied 'from the trenches' experience and our knowledge of best practices, in a way that you'll be able to integrate immediately.
Our classes make you more marketable in very tangible ways:
* Get certified in your tools (through recognized third-party certifications), so that screeners can more easily match your résumé to their requirements.
* Document your formidable skills with unique portfolio samples that reflect a range of current tools and technologies and will help you get results.
* Get deep knowledge of authoring, graphics, and production tools, so you can troubleshoot on the fly and keep documentation off of the developer's critical path.
* Acquire both theoretical understanding and hands-on experience with building-block technologies, so you can hit the ground running, speak intelligently with developers, and be self-reliant for context.
Through three successive tracks of courses that fit easily into your budget and schedule, you'll acquire a wide spectrum of tools expertise and technical knowledge. Better yet, you'll be able to extend this competence to any variant of a learned tool or technology to meet the needs of the hour. Here's how ...
After completing a class, you can return for up to eight hours of private study, using the classroom facilities to acquire additional competence in other proprietary instances of what you've already covered. For example, having learned Linux, you could return for private study of Solaris or AIX.
---------- Deep Knowledge: The Tools Guru Series ----------
In the Tools Guru series, you'll acquire deep tools knowledge that allows flexible responses and keeps the authoring process on track.
You'll receive copies of the official Adobe "Classroom in a Book" curriculum for review in advance of applying for the Adobe Certified Expert designation. (Except for the fact that we own and love their products, we are not affiliated with Adobe.) However...
These are not typical FrameMaker classes. They dive far deeper, as you go "under the hood" to learn how these tools 'think', use them with fluency, and troubleshoot on the fly. In particular, you'll learn to anticipate the implications of templating decisions and graphics choices across the document output spectrum.
The classes cover every major feature of these tools from a case-study point of view, developing elegant solutions to thorny hypothetical requirements and troubleshooting particularly messy filesets without using workarounds. At the end of this series, you can take the Adobe Expert Certification exam with confidence.
In addition to the tools-based curriculum:
* You'll hand-code every aspect of your FrameMaker templates in HTML, to learn to troubleshoot single-sourcing templates with speed and confidence.
The Center's state-of-the-art production printer provides 11" x 17" full color output for the highest quality portfolio materials, and each workstation has its own CD burner, for capture of electronic source and production files.
------- Know from Hands-on Experience: the Get Technical Series -------
The Get Technical series provides both theoretical understanding and hands-on experience in operating systems, networks, and databases:
* Operating Systems. On the first day of GT201, you'll arrive to find your computer in pieces in a box. You'll create a framework for understanding operating systems by documenting assembly of your computer from scratch. In the course of installing (and mastering the fundamentals of) Linux, Windows, and MacOS, you'll create reference cards for performing common tasks in each environment.
* Networks. At each of the six classroom stations, you'll toggle between three computers: the Windows PC you have built, a Unix machine, and a Macintosh G4. In GT202, you'll learn networking in steps, initially constructing a peer-to-peer network between systems of the same type (to facilitate printing and file exchange), and eventually setting up a client/server network across all three platforms and all six classroom subnets, with a firewall interface to the web. You'll write a cookbook for TCP/IP networking of Unix, Windows, and Macintosh devices on the same client/server network.
* Databases. In GT203, you'll master the fundamentals of relational databases and SQL through deep knowledge of MS-Access as an instance of database technology. We prefer Access because you are most likely to own this database and to have at least some experience with it at a rudimentary level. You'll build complex relational databases, with SQL-based front ends. And you'll learn the syntax variations for SQL with Oracle and SQL Server.
This class devotes considerable time to mastering the fundamentals of SQL, including commands that query and write, perform joins and calculations, invoke aggregate functions, perform transactions, and transform the structure of the underlying database. You'll learn how to use MS-Visio to extract the schema of an unknown database and get experience with best practices for database documentation as you create a reference for your schema and stored procedures.
In the Get Technical series, you'll acquire critical knowledge and experience to thrive in the workplace, and your portfolio will demonstrate mastery of the fundamentals of operating systems, networks, and databases.
------- Integrate Tools and Technology: the Writer-Developer Series ------
After you've completed the Tools Guru and Get Technical tracks, you qualify for the advanced Writer-Developer series.
You'll receive copies of the official Macromedia "From the Source" curriculum for review in advance of applying for Macromedia certification. (As with Adobe, we love the Macromedia products, but we have no formal affiliation.) Then...
Although by this point you won't need Dreamweaver to create client-side content, this tool also provides powerful site-management capabilities. Because of its complex and initially confusing GUI, we spend enough time in this environment for you to feel comfortable. Flash provides the capability for dynamic sites that transcend the limitations of current browsers. ActionScript, a Flash-specific scripting language, brings unlimited flexibility to this environment. By combining Flash and XML, you'll launch yourself significantly ahead of your peers (and likely also your SMEs).
You'll develop individual web content in the Writer-Developer series, including a Flash/XML résumé with dynamic drill-downs, as well as sample Java applications with generated JavaDoc. This content is ideal as a foundation for your professional website.
---------- Affordable, Convenient, and Local ----------
We have made every attempt to make these classes accessible and affordable for Bay Area technical writers:
* We fit your budget. As technical writers ourselves, we know the state of the market and we want our classes to be affordable to those who need them. Although our classes are far more thorough (and relevant!) than most, they are among the least expensive available. We accept all major credit cards.
* We fit your schedule. Take classes on your schedule: a) one day a week, 9-5, for five weeks, or b) two evenings a week, 7-10:15. Saturday classes and Sunday morning classes also available.
* We are local. Take scheduled classes in our Walnut Creek classroom, convenient to BART and, for commuters taking our weekend classes, within an hour's drive of the peninsula, Marin, Sacramento, and Silicon Valley!
* We know what it means to have a life. Our students get at least one class-free week per month.
---------- Special Offer for Early Enrollment: Act by May 9th ----------
We limit seating to six per class so that you get the attention you need, but seats go quickly so you may want to consider taking advantage of our current special offer: students enrolling before May 9th receive a 10% discount (up to $500) above and beyond the standard multiple class discounts.
Day and evening classes available. For a schedule, pricing, and further information about the Center for Technical Communications, refer to our website at www.ctr4techU.com.
We look forward to helping you upgrade your skills. Reserve your place today by calling 925-287-8526.
Director of Instructional Services
The Center for Technical Understanding, Inc., Walnut Creek
(contract technical writing services since 1986)
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