<b>Supplement Your Writing with Technical Skills</b>:
The Value of Coding to a Professional Tech Writer
By: Alexandra Engrand
MtM Staff Writer
David Coe has been a technical communicator for 10 years, with 9 years of programming experience. His presentation, Information Technology as a Career Path in Technical Communication, combined these skills.
David began his presentation by telling his audience how he got into technical writing. It came down to two things: he had the experience and the knowledge for the job.
David stated that he had “18 years of heavy technical experience,” including writing how-to manuals for customers, and was capable of translating “engineering-speak” into content a lay person could understand. These are skills he says employers value and technical writers would benefit from having.
He went on to discuss different skills he has found useful for technical writers to have in their toolkit. He said entry-level jobs are difficult to find in the technical writing field, as many people lack the expertise and experience required. David recommended improving your chances by learning valuable skills, such as programming and coding. Being able to translate technical jargon into writing others can understand is an important part of the job. This is something that can be learned on the job, in the classroom, or a combination of both.
David concluded his presentation by listing some websites technical writers can explore:
- Linda Learning (Free for UCF students)
- DocBook (Markup language)