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Technical Writing- How to become a technical writer
Posted Date: 30-Mar-2012
Anil Kumar Aitwal
The following article is about technical writing. Technical writers are the need of the hour in this world of consumerism and mass production. Technical writing is the bridge between the manufacturers and consumers. It is through technical writers that the companies are able to let the consumers know about the product and advertise accordingly. Consumers would be happier with the features of the product they buy in simple language also also provide relevant feedback.
How technically sound are you? How interested do you become when a new product is launched in the market? Do your eyes light up when you see someone with a new product? Do you have a technical bent of mind? If the answers to the questions above are positive then technical writing is definitely for you. If you love technical stuffs ranging from anything like mobile phones to software and computers then you already have a head start. Anyone who likes to be around electronics and likes reading about them then he surely can make a lot of money via
. This will also make him do what he loves.
What is technical writing
The art of writing about technical objects from kitchen appliances to video games and television in simple languages so that the people with lesser technical abilities can understand is called technical writing. Information development is another name given to technical writing. Technical writing can be related to software as well as hardware.
Importance of technical writing
How many of us have wanted to know the technical features of the latest phone by Nokia in town? So, who is going to help us know about the mobile phone we would like to buy? Yes, it is the
. A lot of us may not understand the technical jargons and specifications of the product but we surely would want to know in simple terms the meaning of technical jargons before even planning on buying the product. There are certain computer applications people would want to use to learn from them and also not regret about it not being worth after the purchase. This is where technical writing comes into the picture. Without technical writers people would not know what they are buying and the benefits of the products they have already bought. Technical writing helps the consumers understand what they are buying and also compare various products to buy the one that they feel complies and matches with the their demands. Imagine the dilemma of spending a fortune on a product without even knowing if it has the features you have been looking for. Technical writing is the answer to their feelings of helplessness and ignorance.
What does a technical writer do
A technical writer as the name suggests has to write meaningfully about the product he deals in. He has to work on the designing, documentation and development of various software and hardware. Instruction manuals and
of electronic appliances like micro-wave ovens, geysers and similar products including computer software are documented by technical writers for consumers to understand easily and promptly. A list of frequently asked questions(FAQs) and troubleshooting guides are also prepared by technical writers. A lot of technical writers have also ventured into the field of tutorials. Demonstrations and presentations are also a part of technical writing. Many experienced technical writers have their own technical blogs who work independently as
Technical writers work with various tools to come out with ground-breaking results. Dreamweaver, framemaker and document management systems are some of the tools needed in technical writing.
Skills required to become a technical writer
First and foremost, a technical writer must know what he is writing about. He must be thorough with the products he is dealing with. A technical writer's
knowledge of electronics
must be of a high degree and he must be proficient in the working of the product. He must have the imagination to put himself into the end user's shoes to make his manuals and guides as simple and understandable as possible. An aspiring technical writer must have excellent grammatical skills and must be proficient in the language he is writing in. In India it is English that one has to mainly focus on. A person who is old-fashioned, a Luddite and does not like the technical era the world is heading into, that person should never think about pursuing technical writing as a career no matter how good a writer he might be. A technical bent of mind and an aptitude for electronics is a must for a technical writing aspirant. He must be comfortable with technology. Even if one is not an engineer with a degree in technology he should have crystal clear understanding of
Qualifications to secure a job
As per the professional qualification required to get a job related to technical writing, it is not clear yet. There are no proper courses that provide education and training related solely to technical writing. However, as a general rule most companies that recruit technical writers demand the applicant to be a graduate in any field. Aspirants with technical backgrounds have better chances than non-technical background to get through to a job. Some companies even have written tests prior to the interviews to test language and analytical skills. Some multi-national companies also have facilities to train and groom freshers before allowing them to work. Technological awareness and knowledge of computer languages and applications is a valuable asset in the field of software and computer related products.
Money in technical writing
Like many other fields in this modern age, money in technical writing is not much in the beginning. The more you prove yourself and the more experience you gain along the years, better are the chances of you earning more and more. The beginning of the career requires a lot of hard work, dedication and the will to learn. Once the technical writers start working for companies and establish themselves in the field, they can even go freelancing. Their reputation and recognition will get them the deserved money.
Scope for technical writing
With the world going
and the world being introduced to the state-of-the-art features every other day, the scope of technical writing has increased manifold. The purchasing power of the consumers have increased and with it has increased the need to let people know and understand what they are buying or what they should buy. Technical writing has made it simpler for consumers to understand their product. It has also helped the manufacturers and marketing companies to build the needed rapport with the consumers and make themselves understand.
Apart from technical writing there is another field called
which is similar but not the same as technical writing. Instructional design concentrates more on creating and designing tools to educate or impart training in a computer-based or a web-based environment.
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Responses to "Technical Writing- How to become a technical writer"
01 Apr 2012
Well written about technical writing. I have got some idea now on writing technical writing, as I was in need of it.
Anil Kumar Aitwal
02 Apr 2012
Thank you for your appreciation. I am happy that this article was of some help to you and I hope that others will also benefit from it.
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