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Becoming a tech doc ace requires a multitude of competencies

Technical writing, that’s just being good at tech and writing step-by-step instructions, right? Well, if you want to do a really good job, there’s quite a lot more to it. Becoming a tech doc ace requires a multitude of competencies.

Text & images by: Karin Askeroth

There are many different kinds of knowledge that is useful to be successful in the role of a technical writer, and we have listed the ones we find most important:

  • Writing: User manuals, technical documentation, policies and procedures, as well as case studies all require writing with excellent readability, accurate wording and compliant with applicable standards.

  • Editing: Text review, proofreading, typography, tone of voice and technical vocabulary ensures functional accuracy as well as flawless texts that speak with the voice of the company.

  • Information architecture & Document management: The ability to structure the documentation in a good way will help you from day one. This goes for both structuring of the content, and for ensuring a good structure within every single document.

  • Design: Information design, typography and graphic design basics helps make the content easier to grasp and absorb, while ensuring the material represents the company.

  • Research: Even if you know the product well, research is always a part of technical writing. This includes research of both the specific product and of its end users.

  • Teamwork: The ability to work with many different kinds of people, organizing, planning, conflict-solving, decision-making and problem-solving.

  • Single-sourcing: A great way to save yourself from starting from scratch when creating new documents is to have a master source file that can be repurposed when new needs arise.

  • User experience: In order to write great user guides you need to investigate how the end users will use the product. It may not always be the exact same way that the business analysts and the development team have pictured.

  • Technical writing tools: There are plenty of tools for technical writing. It’s useful to at least learn the basics of a few.

These are three of our exceptional consultants that you would be happy to have in your project!

Technical writing offers specialization possibilities

One single person can not have all this knowledge, and other skills than the ones mentioned can also be useful. Technical writing is a field with great opportunities to broaden your knowledge and to specialize in what interests you the most.

Our advice to you: Once you have the basic knowledge you need in order to work as a technical writer, see what specialized areas you are most interested in. In most cases; what you find easy to do is where you’ll be able to specialize the most.

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