Five Myths- Technical Writing Training

Most beginners want to join technical writing training course to get an entry level job as technical writer. Many of them do not know what to expect from a basic course in technical writing. Although they do try to read something on internet about technical writing, their ideas are generally nebulous.
Given below are five myths about technical writing training for beginners.

  • I need to be an engineer or technically qualified to become a technical writer
  • NO – neither you need to be an engineer NOR is it essential to have other technical qualifications to be a technical writer. Graduates in any subject, including subjects such as history, sociology, or English are also eligible to become a technical writer.
  • BUT – if you start yawning at the very thought of any technical talk, maybe you need to re-think about your decision to become a technical writer.
  • I need to have good knowledge about the subject that I have to document
  • NO – as a technical writer, you are NOT expected to already know about the subject or product
  • BUT – when you start documenting you need to acquire knowledge by asking questions from the experts in the company. You are allowed to ask as many stupid questions as possible, in fact the more ‘so called stupid’ questions you ask, the better technical writer you become.
  • I need to be highly skilled in popular tools such as FrameMaker or RoboHelp
  • NO – as a beginner, you are not expected to be highly skilled in these tools. It takes a fair amount of experience to master these tools.
  • BUT – if you have basic skills in using popular technical writing tools, you will get priority over other (assuming other things being equal).
  • I need to have very high level of command over English language, to become a good technical writer
  • NO –you need NOT be an MA or PhD in English, also you need NOT have scored top grades in English Language.
  • BUT- you certainly need to have scored average or above average (say 50% or above marks) in English language in your classes.
  • I need to be very fast in writing lots of technical content in short time, so I should have high typing speed
  • NO – Technical writing is about FIRST understanding, thinking, learning, analyzing AND THEN writing. So it is not quantity but quality that matters more in technical writing.
  • BUT – if you are amongst those who still have to search for a key before pressing it with one finger; I suggest you upgrade your typing speed.