Posts Tagged ‘Technical Writer’

Requirements of Technical Writers

August 25, 2012

As long as manufacturers keep producing technology oriented products, technical writers exists in the industry. Technical writers are required to explain the usage, benefits, and working of these new technologies to the end users. The requirement of technical writers is increasing everyday in the market. Technical writing is a fascinating and lucrative career option for many reasons. Technical writers have the opportunities to:

  1. Develop a wide range of information including writing, book design, graphic design, web development, training and videography.
  2. Express your creativity in a variety of media and formats.
  3. Learn new subject from the experts.
  4. Find work in almost any industry.
  5. Be involved in interesting programs throughout the product development life cycle.
  6. Start working as a business analyst after a good experience as a technical writer.
  7. Promoted to Sr. Technical writer after a good working experience in this field.

Technical writing is an emerging industry in the market. People gets aware about this profession, and looking their career as a technical writer. Technical writing becomes a well known profile in the industry. This article is for those people who are not aware of this profile.

Well, technical writer is a professional who prepare technical documents for software and electronic products (mobile, I-pod, Digital Camera, and other appliances). These technical documents include; installation guide, user manuals, troubleshooting, and device configuration. It is responsibility of a technical writer to describe all the technical aspects in an easy to understand way. User manual is provided with all the appliances or gadgets sold in the market.

Technical writer gathers information from various sources, and prepare documents accordingly. When preparing user manuals for software, writer uses the software, and gather required information. By using the application, writer will come to know various facts. In this way, author becomes familiar with the appliance, and can represent all the features in a better way. Generally, technical writer plays a major role in success of a product.

The advantage to work as a technical writer is, you get a chance to work on different technologies. As a writer, you need to prepare user manuals, installation guides, white papers, story boards, business proposals, and e-learnings. Preparing different kind of documents is a very nice experience. But while preparing these kind of documents, audience level should be clear to the technical writer. Audience are the end users who are going to use the technical documents.

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Skills Required in Technical Writing

August 25, 2012

Technical writing is now noticed and gaining recognition with time. Recently, I read about technical writing in the employment news. An article about technical writing was published on the front page. It indicates that people now looking technical writing as a career option. When I have joined as a technical writer, nobody knows about this field. I need to explain about my profession, when someone asked me about it. It makes me quite disappointed when I found that nobody knows about this profile. But, now as I tell somebody about my profession, people praise my work.

The qualities of a good technical writer include analyzing, writing, interviewing, and instructional designing skills. To be a good technical writer, you should be able to understand complex subjects quickly, and explain them in an easy language. You should be able to identify your audience, and explain the things in a simple way. You should be able to write clear, concise, error free, and user friendly documents. Personal and technical attributes are also necessary for a good technical writer.

  • Personal Attributes: As a technical writer, you should be a good listener, and quick learner. You should have good communication and writing skills. You must know organizing your thoughts in a better way, and write them accurately. You should be creative, focused, and able to interact with end users.
  • Technical Attributes: Generally, people having degrees in journalism, English literature, mass communication, and engineering are preferred for technical writing. However, it is not stable, and varies from company to company. For example, a software company prefers a person with technical or engineering backgrounds whereas, a company into media and publication prefers a person with a degree in journalism and mass communication.

With the increase in desktop publishing work, technical writers are increasing regularly. These technical writers are responsible for the publication of books, courseware’s, graphics, and document design. Major tools used by technical writers are as follows:

  1. Microsoft Word
  2. Adobe RoboHelp
  3. Adobe FrameMaker
  4. Adobe Captivate
  5. Adobe Dreamweaver
  6. Adobe Photoshop
  7. Adobe PageMaker
  8. Adobe Acrobat
  9. HTML Help
  10. Snag It
  11. Macromedia Authorware
  12. Epic Editor
  13. Web works

These are certain tools generally used in technical writing. However, if you are not familiar with these tools, you can learn them with time. There are online tutorials available to learn these tools at your own. You can also learn these tools using the Help section included in the software. Some companies hire freshers (having no experience) for technical writing, and train them on these tools. But, if you have the knowledge to work on these tools, then it will give you an advantage in job search.

After all, technical writing is the field of professionals who know “how to keep the balance of content, grammar, and style to achieve the goal”. As a technical writer, you have to produce quality documents that help people to learn, and use the technology easily. You may ask to write documents for people who have different experience level on the technology. So, always keep your target audience in mind while writing.