Technical writer Technical writing is performed by a technical writer or technical author and is the process of writing and sharing information in a professional setting.
Like any profession, becoming a technical writer requires a mastery of a certain set of skills. This skill set used to involve primarily writing and illustration skills, as large manuals for print publication were the standard in the profession.
The worlds of communications and technology have evolved dramatically in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of this century. How has that evolution affected the skill set required for a technical writer? Writing skills — For a technical writer, writing skills can never be overlooked.
The technical writer still needs to write in a clear and concise manner and to be able to convey information appropriately for a variety of audiences. Technical skills — The technical skill set of a technical writer depends greatly on the subject matter, product or service that requires documentation.
Hardware and software documentation differ in the skills that the technical writer needs to bring to the table. Additionally, pharmaceuticals and other manufacturing industries have specific requirements that translate into knowledge the technical writer must have. Tools skills — Needless to say, a technical writer needs to know his or her way around computer systems, since they are used to produce documentation in a variety of formats.
Interviewing and listening skills — Technical writers need to know how to ask questions. They also need to know who is the best person to approach and they need to have a feel for the varying personalities and preferences of the people — the subject matter experts, or SMEs — in order to know how best to approach them.
Once the technical writer has found the appropriate SME to approach, strong listening skills will be required to capture the information necessary and to know which follow-up questions need to be answered. Design skills — An appreciation for the visual can be an important part of the skill set of a technical writer.
To a growing extent the technical writer needs an appreciation for graphics and formatting as well as illustration skills. Depending on the needs of the organization, these skills may only need to be rudimentary or they may need to be very advanced.
Usability and testing skills — A technical writer may also be asked to take an active role in usability and testing. Even if not asked to take a role, the technical writer knows that validation of the documentation is important — the confirmation that the product works the way it is documented to work.
In some organizations, the technical writer is an important part of the User Experience team. These skills are just a small part of what a technical writer brings to the table.Use Smartsheet’s customizable Requirement Collection Checklist to turn your technical requirements document into an organic checklist that you can share with your entire team and stakeholders.
Use the template to store, organize, and . How to write a Technical Writer job description. Research, develop and document technical design specifications and test scripts. Produce electronic documentation in addition to hard copy manuals.
Maintain a comprehensive library of technical terminology and documentation. Jan 26, · Reader Approved How to Master Technical Writing.
Three Parts: Understanding Technical Writing Improving Your Writing Style and Approach Using Technical Writing Courses and Professional Resources Community Q&A Technical writing is one of the fastest growing professions and the demand for technical writers shows 92%(79).
Technical Writer: Job Description & Career Info. Read about the kinds of documents that technical writers work on and the job skills that they need. A technical writer is a professional information communicator whose task it is to transfer information (knowledge) To create a technical document, a technical writer must understand the subject, purpose, and audience.
They gather information by studying existing material, interviewing SMEs, and often actually using the product. Sep 10, · The average salary for a Technical Writer is $58, Visit PayScale to research Technical Writer salaries by city, experience, skill, employer, and more.