Writer Technical

Writer Technical, does this sound absurd? Read on to find out what writer technical means

Writer Technical involves two aspects:

Writer Aspect of Writer Technical

Writer Technical is also called as technical writer or technical communicator most of the times. But I prefer using writer technical, because person who is a technical writer needs to be a writer firstly. Being a writer is the basic requirement to be a technical writer or technical communicator. This does not imply that you have to be a writer or an author of a book. Rather you must possess good writing skills to present information or a thought.

Technical Aspect of Writer Technical

Writer technical has to have enough technical knowledge to understand technical information of particular domain and convey the same to target audience using certain software’s like MSWord. Domains can be as diverse as Aerospace, Chemical Engineering, Robotics, Biotechnology, Computer Software, Computer Hardware, etc. Writer Technical should have technical knowledge of domain they work for, this basic knowledge helps to extract and understand information from subject matter expert. Writer is a writer whether they use pen or computer to write. Similarly, Writer technical is a writer who may write about any technical information using any software.

What does Writer Technical do?

Writer technical is required to use both their writing and technical skills to develop user guides, online help, white papers, System manuals and other documents. As a technical writer you have to gather information, analyze audience, analyze subject and produce documents which are unambiguous, accurate, and concise for consumer, business, and technical audiences. As a Writer Technical you create content

Creating content involves following steps:

  1. Determining Purpose
  2. Determining Audience
  3. Collecting Information
  4. Organizing Information
  5. Writing First Draft
  6. Revising and Editing

What are different areas in which technical writers can specialize?

As a technical writer you can become expert in any of the following:

  • User Documentation
  • API Documentation
  • Online Help
  • Technical Documentation
  • Technical Illustrations

Writer Technical Vs Technical Writer

Many top technical writers (Top 100 Tech Writers) have qualifications in literature, journalism rather than science and technology. Technical Writing is about writing technology. The purpose of technical writing is to explain the technology and instruct others how to use it. Generally it is myth that technical writer must  have sound technical knowledge. Technical writing is one type of writing and every type of writing has its own criteria for evaluation based on what it is supposed to accomplish. Seems enough proof to say writer technical is apt than technical writer.

Writer technical is a writer who can understand technical information about topic/service/product/process and prepare documents, which help various users understand and use those topics/services/products/processes.

What Is Needed To Become a Writer Technical?

To be a writer technical you need:

  1. Writing skills to prove you a writer.
  2. Interest in technical subjects.
  3. Research and Organizational skills.

How can you differentiate yourself as a good Writer Technical?

As a writer technical your job is to translate the complex information into something that everyone and anyone can understand. Though sometimes you may be embarrassed to ask certain questions to which SME clearly regards as stupid. But, asking SME is the only way to extract required information. On the contrary, if you are among one parroting the SME, then you could never be real writer technical. Last but not least review your documents by getting into shoes of your target audience.

Essentials for Writer Technical

  • No Assumptions

As a technical writer you should never assume anything either it’s about audience or about SME’s. Assumptions will always land you in a problem as your assumptions can be fact but not necessarily always. Hence, you will not be able to generate good documents.

  • Analyze Audience

To produce good documents you have to understand what user’s expectations are and how they use the document. As a technical writer you can yield best results if you have insight of users needs. It is necessary that you understand the knowledge level of audience for whom you are writing.

  • Interact with SME

Gather Knowledge from SME Interacting with SME is the best way to gather accurate information for your technical document. After analyzing your audience, you have to work on how to convey the information provided by SME to audience so that they understand correctly.

  • Plan the Documentation

Plan your documentation project as per DDLC. Make sure all the phases of DDLC have no issues in implementation.

  • Templates

The physical appearance of the document is a template. Consider all the specifications and standards while deciding the template. Designing of template includes deciding page size, page margins, fonts, headings, list types, alignments, gutter space, etc. Development of content should start only when template is designed and accepted by all stakeholders.

  • Tools

Generally all the tools/ softwares used by technical writers fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Publishing Tools
  • Graphic tools
  • Help Tools
  • Web Tools

A technical writer should have good knowledge about the tools, so that the best can be used when required.

Writing/Documentation

Always follow the four C’s principle of technical writing while writing for any document

  • Concise
  • Clear
  • Coherent
  • Complete

Also, consider what could be possible issues with the use of vocabulary if the document is to be localized.

  • Reviews

Make sure following three reviews are completed before declaring completion of documentation:

  • Peer review
  • Technical review
  • Functional review