Thursday, January 10, 2013. Deccan Herald. A technically ‘write’ career

Dr Annapoorna Ravichander, Jan 10, 2013

Writers on the block Technical Writing is a new and less explored career path among aspiring writers, writes Dr Annapoorna Ravichander. Often, the world of writing is considered an opportune vista by most people.

While the areas of media writing, creative writing, and content writing are relatively well-known, technical writing is a new kid in the block. This new breed of “technical writers” also go by names like Technical Editors, Information Developers, or Document Specialists, depending upon the company they work for.

Simply put, technical writing is writing on a technical topic in a simple way for a specific audience. Typically, a technical writer understands the requirement of the target audience and describes the information in a clear and precise manner.

For example, a technical writer creates a user manual for a washing machine by providing instructions on how to use its various features. With the ever-growing manufacturing and IT service sectors in the country, there is a great demand for technical writers.

Technical writing is a combination of writing skills and understanding of technology. As the popular saying goes, technology is no rocket science; with training and practice, one can overcome the apprehension of not being tech savvy. However, unlike other writers, a technical writer must enjoy working with technology.

There are several types of documents that a technical writer will have to create, depending upon the company they work for. Some of the key outputs include user manuals, installation guides, online help, troubleshooting guides, marketing collaterals and process documents. As with any other profession, technical writing too demands a fair few deliverables.

A strong hold over English language with a great flair for clear communication is an absolute necessity. A degree in any background is okay, unless the company specifies one. Other skills which are essential to be a successful technical writer are good writing skills, listening skills, editing skills, eye for details, research and analytical skills to name a few.  Needless to say, a basic understanding of the profession through a certification course or appropriate training will always give an edge over other candidates.

Aspiring writers need only to choose from the host of online and offline courses offered by various institutes across the country. Bangalore alone speaks of voluminous opportunities for technical writers in various companies. Technical writing as a profession is very popular in Bangalore due to the abundance of software companies.

According to Google Trends Bangalore is the preferred location for Technical Writing, in India. According to TWIN (Technical Writers in India), Bangalore has the largest number of job openings every month.

TWIN (Technical Writers in India) and The Writers Block are two of the famous institutions offering special hands-on training in technical writing, while Bangalore University, Christ University and a few other autonomous colleges in Bangalore have included it as a subject at the MA level.

Technical Writing is certainly a booming career prospect for the writers-to-be in the country. You may not see your name in print, but technical writing pays off your hardwork with a steady and prospectful career.

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