What Did I Learn As a Technical Writer?

LOTS! I have learned almost all the tricks of the trade! Let me confess that I did not use google to search for information on technical writing before I went for my first interview because I had not even heard of Internet then. Being a technical writer has been a real learning experience for me.

  • I learned to create different types of documents!

I worked on various types of documents—user’s guide, API documents, technical specifications, error messages manual, installation guide, trouble shooting guide, getting started document, programmers guide, to name a few.

  • I learned the importance of communication and to communicate better.

I learned about analyzing audiences, interviewing people, gathering information, and meeting deadlines. More importantly, I learnt to communicate better—after all, technical writing is about communication!

The power of a successfully communicated thought is one of the greatest forces we know. But like the tango, it takes two to communicate. You can communicate a thought, but your thought may not be understood. That’s why it pays to try and make people understand what you are saying and that’s what I do—try to make the audience understand what they have to!

  • I learned to listen effectively.

I learned that it is important to listen to people carefully, and more importantly, respond in a way that lets them know that you value their thoughts and their opinion. This is especially important when interacting with the subject matter experts (SMEs), editors, engineers, project managers, product managers, and team members. You have to listen carefully so that you don’t miss any important aspect of the functionality they might just mention in an informal discussion.

  • I learned the importance of quality control.

Apart from editing documents, I also learned about editing error messages, reviewing graphical user interface (GUI), doing quality checks (of the product and the document), and more. As the part of the work, I also had to report the bugs in the application/product and give suggestions to make it usable and user-friendly.

  • I learned to be productive in a systematic manner.

I learned to plan, coordinate, and multitask. I learned about time management, project management, people management, and so many other things that made me productive at work and organized as a person!

  • I learned to manage projects and people.

I learned that managing difficult projects is easier than managing difficult people. This is because in projects, issues arise only when there are unexpected problems (not caused deliberately by the project). On the other hand, problems caused by people are usually deliberate and intentional.

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2 Responses

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  2. Thanks! I am glad you like it!

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