You Just Might Be A Technical Writer

Let’s look at how you can tell if you’re already a technical writer. Or if you want to become a technical writer.
The first question, of course, has to be: What is a technical writer? There’s no universal definition that covers every situation, but generally speaking a technical writer – or technical communicator – is someone who:
– has the ability to assimilate and convey technical material in a concise, effective manner
– designs, creates, maintains, and updates technical documentation
A technical writer is a professional writer who designs, creates, maintains, and updates technical documentation-including online help, user guides, white papers, design specifications, and other documents. The technical writer’s primary responsibility is to gather information and produce documentation tailored to a particular audience.
So, how do you know if you’re already a technical writer? Or want to become one? If your response to these questions is either, “Yes, I do that now,” or “I’d like to learn how to do that,” there’s a good chance that you’re already a tech writer or should seriously think about becoming one.
The Technical Writer Identification Test
1. Do you like to do research and learn about “stuff?”
When you look for one piece of information, do you often find yourself going off on side trips to find out about other things because you like to know things just for the sake of knowing?
2. Do you work well both alone and as part of a team?
Are you comfortable working on your own, being your own boss, and being responsible for when you work and how? But when necessary, can you work as a productive member of a team?
3. Do you have good analytical skills?
Can you organize information coherently, analyze situations, and propose solutions?
4. Do you have good people skills?
Are you comfortable talking to people, asking questions and evaluating their responses?
5. Do you have basic computer skills?
Are you proficient in word processing, creating spread sheets, and building PowerPoint® presentations?
6. Do you have a basic understanding of technology?
Are you either generally aware of how an internal combustion engine, a nuclear reactor, a light bulb, a computer program, or a jet plane works – or would like to find out?
7. Do you have good language skills?
You don’t need a master’s degree in English. But you should know how to construct clear, direct sentences.
8. Do people like your travel directions because they’re clear and actually get them where they want to go?
9. Do you often write business documentation?
Does your current work involve any of the following:
– Process or equipment instructions
– Cost and schedule estimating
– Project administration documentation
– Writing standards and procedures
– Information management
– Writing design documents that describe the workings of a system
– Creating control documents that communicate project standards
10. Do you want to move into a new and exciting position in a profession with substantial rewards and rapidly growing opportunities?
How about it? Do these questions describe who you are now or who you’d like to become? The field of technical writing is growing and needs writers who can turn raw data into simple to read documentation.

No Comments Found

Leave a Reply