What Are the Qualities of a Good Technical Writer?
With the rise of software companies over the years, the demand for experienced technical writers has sharply increased. Every type of writing has a purpose. Some forms of writing are meant to tell a story, others to express opinions, and others to teach and inform the audience. While technical writing can be difficult and time-consuming, if done well, technical writing is a fulfilling experience that can take your company to the next level.
What Is Technical Writing?
When most people hear technical writing, they think of user manuals. But there is more to technical writing than just user manuals. Technical writing is any kind of writing that is meant to deliver intricate information to readers in a simple way they can understand and apply, even if they don’t have any knowledge of the topic. It can be something like how to operate a machine or how to use a new product.
Some examples of technical writing include:
- Guides & user manuals
- White papers & case studies
- Press releases
- Technical reports
- Product descriptions
What Makes a Good Technical Writer?
If you’re looking for a good technical writer, here are some of the skills and characteristics to look out for:
While the ability to write may seem entirely obvious, there is a difference between knowing how to write and good technical writing. A good technical writer should excel at writing itself. Technical writing should be clear, and this clarity can be achieved only by someone who knows how to put the most complicated ideas in simple words.
Solid Research Skills
Technical writing is detailed and educational, leaving no room for imagination. So, a technical writer should be a good researcher in order to provide comprehensive and accurate information. A tech writer is responsible for collecting the data (numerical and non-numerical) and converting it into valuable information.
Ability to Work with Technical Writing Tools
As technology keeps advancing, a good technical writer should know how to work with various technical writing tools. Apart from being user-friendly text editors, technical writing tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe FrameMaker, Notepad, and WordPress offer task-specific functionality. They support writing formats like Word, PDF, and CHM.
A good tech writer needs to be aware of what’s available on the market. Ideally, they should try out several tools to know how they work and choose those that appeal to them.
Excellent Communication Skills
A tech writer should be a good communicator. In most cases, there will be communication between tech writers and SMEs (subject matter experts). A tech writer will also need to talk to different people like developers, editors, project managers, or clients to seek clarification or report a problem, so effective communication is essential.
Sometimes, technical content is meant for non-technical people, and a tech writer must learn how to convey the message in a precise way that’ll be easily understood by the readers. Therefore, a tech writer should understand what people need and find the best approach to suit their needs.
Ability to Take Criticism Lightly
A good tech writer should always be ready to take criticism lightly and learn from it. Sometimes clients and editors may give negative feedback or request a rewrite to be done according to their specifications. A good tech writer should be prepared to learn, receive negative feedback, and try to do better.
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, so do the tools and systems used in technical writing. Find a tech writer who can easily adapt to your company style, and if you have none, the writer must have expertise in your industry. Technical writers must Know how to bend and shape themselves without being a pushover.
These are only some of the qualities that a good technical writer should possess. Technical writers can work from anywhere, so if you’re looking for skilled tech writers for your next project, we have made it easy for you.