An important question for aspiring Technical Writers – What does it take to make a good Technical Writer? The available answers could resemble a job description saying: Mastery in English Language is absolutely mandatory, Expertise in word processing and documentation tools is required, Exposure to HTML, XML and DITA is preferred and so on.
Let us find out who can become a technical writer, in a simpler manner…
The job of technical writer involves donning many roles and therefore it obviously requires a mixed bag of skills. Besides being good at written English, a technical writer has to be a conversationalist, a technology and innovation enthusiast, people-oriented and an end-user advocate.
As a conversationalist, it becomes easier for a technical writer to strike casual conversations with product designers and developers, which is the easiest way to understand the needs that must be catered by the product. On the other side, if the technical writer gets to interact with the customers or end users, the conversation skills might be handy in capturing their expectations. At times, the user documentation starts when the product or application development is mid-way where some screens are ready, some aren’t, while a number of them need to be modified according to change requests. In such scenarios, it is important to communicate with developers, testers, and architects to understand the flow of application and the functionality for various pages.
Being a technology enthusiast helps the technical writers by making them inclined to take interest in the technological advancements, evolution of products driven by the demands of future, and understanding the business logic of seemingly complex products. It pays to be able to understand the business logic, information flow or sequences depicted in flowcharts, data flow diagrams or UML diagrams.
Working in collaboration with people from different backgrounds, functions and with varying skillsets, makes humanity as the most common team bonding factor. A technical writer may do well to reason out with most people, understand and respect their constraints, be assertive yet wear a calm and cheerful demeanor. The writer must be seen as a team player and people- oriented.
Last but the most significant role is that of a user advocate. Whenever we see a change in layout of a portal or an e-commerce website, a lot of it is driven by user behavior or consumer feedback. As end-user advocates, technical writers empathize with the end-users and look at the products from the users’ perspectives. It helps them visualize the user scenarios, the expectations and of course, they might bump into some exceptions. All of this can go back towards product enhancement and continuous improvement initiatives. So, it reaches a point where Technical Writers not only create and develop product documentation but they also act as product evangelists.
If you have the above mentioned traits, you surely qualify for a technical writer job. You can either get in touch to get associated with Ascezen Consulting Pvt. Ltd. as a Technical Writer/Information Developer/Content Writer or get enrolled for a training program that helps to acquire the required skillset.