June 12, 2012

Before you foray into Techinal writing (Information Development)

How to start as a Technical writer

So you want to start as a technical writer/Information Developer, I will try to answer few question, I was searching when I decide to embark on this journey.

Career opportunities  

Technical writers find career opportunities in the financial, industrial, construction, electronics, automotive, medical, computer, biomedical, healthcare, agricultural and petrochemical industries.In IT industries, a growth pattern is very much similar to software developers.

Do I have a trait to be an Information Developer?

Unfortunately, most of the tech writer in the industry does not become tech writer by choice but it happens to them and many starts loving it and few change their way. Who are the people who change their way and why?

A technical writer is expected to have great technical skill as well as writing skill i.e. exceptional command over language and understanding of technology and this is a very rare combination to find.

Some companies depending on their requirement either hire a candidate with domain expertise’s and average writing skill while some give priority to the language experts. New picking up trends are companies start giving preference to the candidate with engineering background with at least one language knowledge and domain knowledge with good communication skills.

Although writing skill or technical skill for a technical writer is one of the most debatable topics on the different forum. I believe Students must have a command of the English language, and understand the basic principles of a composition including grammar and sentence construction and common sense (logic). Common sense helps to learn new tools quickly as well as it also helps to understand the flow usability of application which is also the main prerequisite for tech writers.

So before you jump this bandwagon make sure you love to write and have a nick to learn tools and programs? If your answer is yes, then be sure you are choosing a right career.

You can download the trial version of tools used by a technical author and try to get familiar with it.

Where to start? Which class to join classes and What to learn?

Now you know you want to be a tech writer/information developer, the question is from where to start? Which class to join to be a good technical writer and, above all, get a good paying job???

There is nothing like that if you get a chance to join directly any company without any training classes. Training classes are not a bad idea but starting directly is a great idea.

I myself joined a class to become a tech writer but fortunately, I got placed before I complete my course? No, my institute does not have to do anything with my placement as I get it. It was my luck.

So now you are considering joining a class to learn this skill. There are many classrooms and online courses are available.

What you should learn?

I hope minimum these things you should learn in any classroom.

  • Introduction to technical writing.
  • Concepts and Principle
  • Importance of Technical Communication
  • Software Development Life Cycle and Documentation Development Life Cycle
  • Style Guide (MSTP)
  • Authoring Tools (Word,RoboHelp, Framemaker)
  • Imaging Tools (SnagIT, Paint) 

After completing the course you should know:

  • how to determine  the audience, purpose, and objectives for the various documents
  • how to follow steps to successful technical writing
  • how to write collaboratively
  • how to write a procedures manual
  • how to design the most common types of technical documents

  • If you want to learn by me visit my site for more detail.Click here

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