Technical writers are writers and editors; and also computer programmers, graphic designers, and Web-designers. As, technical writer need not know all these skills in deep, they are just useful in understanding the product. Before Five years, blogs and twitter are given to some contract technical writers, but now each & every MNC have at least 1 technical writer just for blogging. Due to advanced technology, the demand of technical writers is increasing day to day.
Technical writing is a best career option for the people, who has better communication skills and writing skills and also who have interest in learning new things. Technical writing is one of the accepted skills in IT Software and hardware fields, and the influence of technical writers in domains like education, medical, and pharmacy are growing. Like other Professional Jobs, technical writers also require proficiency over some skills, mainly communication skills.
Some of the valuable skills that a technical writer needs are as:
Good communication skills plays a very important role in technical writer’s career, as technical writers interact with a wide range of people such as project managers, engineers, graphic designers and end-users. Even they have to deal projects with International clients.
Writing skills and Language Proficiency
Technical writers should have excellent writing skills and also proficient in language of documentation. Technical Writers should write clearly, concisely and precisely. The Technical Documentation should be as simple as possible.
Basic Knowledge over the subject
The Basic Knowledge or the Domain knowledge is needed to add the value for user documentation, and it is more important for some forms of the documentation like technical reference manuals. Gaining the domain knowledge will reduce the reliance on SMEs.
Good Command on Tools
Technical writers must be experts in technical writing tools. Technical writers have to know the capability of the tool, so that they can work efficiently. Some of the tools used for technical writing are M.S Office (mainly Microsoft Word), Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Robohelp etc.
Target Audience and Task Analysis
Technical writers should write as per to the target audience and they have to reach the audience by their writing skills. Technical writers have to analyze the task that is to be explained. Task Analysis helps them to decide the deliverable kind, the information about the product and the usage of language.
R n D Skills (Research Skills)
Technical writers should have very strong researching skills to locate more information on product and also domain on the competitor’s product. This information helps technical writers to understand a better solution and also adds the value to documentation.
Gathering and Analysis the Information
Technical writers have to gather the information from wide variety of resources like reading existing documents, working with solutions interviewing the subject matter experts (SMEs), etc. While documenting, the technical writers should be able to analyze and determine the gathered information and relevant usage of the information.
Visual Design & Graphics
Technical writers make the information easier to understand by using Visual designs & Graphics. The usage of graphics and visual designs makes the reader to understand and analyze the product effectively. Usage of schematics, page layout, icons, graphs, tables, and charts makes easy to read and use the technical documents.
Creativity in Writing
Technical writers have to contribute once technical marketing communications skills by writing blogs, mailers, brochures, press releases, etc for corporate websites. Technical writers develop a level of the creativity which helps in creating engaged content to catch the attention of all potential customers.