A career that creates a brand for your ideas

As technology evolves, it is imperative for most product and services companies globally to have a well-drafted, end-user document, which gives a complete description of a product and effectively communicates about its nature and functionality to the users. The essential features of a product, be it mobile technology, healthcare, finance, networking or aeronautics, are rapidly changing the technological landscape. Hence, a well-drafted, simple end-user document is essential to make the best use of the product.

Technical writing as a course is designed to prepare aspiring technical writers so that they are job-ready with essential skills. Software companies, whether products and services companies or E-learning, offer huge career prospects for technical writers. The role of a technical writer involves developing product, training and marketing documents; writing marketing collaterals like brochures, proposals and whitepapers; writing administrators guide, installation guide and operations manuals; editing and quality checking of documents in accordance with company standards; planning, structuring and preparing the document which is reviewed at every stage of preparing these documents.

Analytical sense

Prior to writing, the writer should analyse the audience and understand their requirements prior to preparing the document. They should collect information about the product by reading the design documents, interviewing Small and Medium Enterprises and others who form an integral part of a document. As technical writers, we have to follow a certain template and style while preparing these documents, when I say so, we more often use style guides and the popular one being the Microsoft Style for Technical Publication, popularly called MSTP. 

If a template is not available, then one has to prepare one before penning down the product features.

Many organisations have their own customised style guides to address their requirements. With technology advancing, it is mandatory to have a dynamic end-user document and approach while preparing these documents. The newer editions are supported with graphics and video clips to make learning easier.

Graduates from any stream with good communication skills can be a technical writer, but if one has a technical background they have an advantage than those with non-technical background.

Besides effective writing, it is also essential for one to know the software that are used to prepare these documents like Adobe Framemaker, RoboHelp, MS Visio, Snag IT, Madcap Flair and DITA or the one which is built by the company.

Scope and future

The content writing job is a more creative and enjoyable field. There is always a learning curve as one moves from one project to another. But there are many challenges when it comes to keeping abreast with the updated technology. With new ideas and advanced technology introduced rapidly, there is an urgent need to support these products with end-user documents; hence, technical writers are constantly in the process of learning new trends. This is the primary reason why the concept of technical writing as a career is growing exponentially.

People from development, testing and other backgrounds have taken up this career because technical writing is not intensely complex when compared with coding or QA.

Also, people who have worked in medical transcription, content writers, developers and IT support have migrated to technical writing as it has gained wide scope and career prospects than other related fields.

The remuneration for technical writers in the IT sector is lucrative. Certification in technical writing would help boost one’s career prospects to kick start as a technical writer.

More than men, women have opted for technical writing and reoriented their career in the IT space. People who have worked in other industries are now looking for a more promising career where they can scale up the ladder faster than other professions, the reason being the high demand for technical writers in industries.

(The author is founder, TechnoKraft)

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A career that creates a brand for your ideas

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