have been working as a technical writer for three years now. I have worked in various industries including telecommunications and environmental, but my focus and area of expertise remains with scientific, medical and health care information technology.
So, to give you a glimpse into my life as a high tech writer, here are some of my initial observations:
- There appears to be a “technical writer personality” – talks a lot, full of ideas, somewhat extroverted.
- Tech writers usually come from a wide variety of different work experience and educational backgrounds (i.e. no two technical writers are alike!).
- People’s usual first response when they hear that I am a technical writer, is that it must be a boring job, which it most certainly is not!
- Half the job involves project management and people skills.
- If you can’t work with all sorts of people with varying backgrounds then this isn’t the job for you!
- Old adage: Q. Who is a technical writer’s worst enemy? A. Another technical writer working in your same department / office / company.
- No one likes the stuffy, always right tech writer who lives to correct your grammar.
- A tech writer does a whole lot more than just writing, in fact even edging on web development, training, layout, graphic design, and interactive learning.
- Rule of thumb: simple and clear works best (i.e. if the tech writer can understand how a program works, then you can too!).