Technical writing therefore calls for both an insight into the industry or domain knowledge and excellent communication skills. Technical writing consists of bringing out manuals, training material, technical reports and documents, graphic designs and illustrations, magazines, journals and newsletters, indexes, web pages and text books.
Technical writing covers material to be brought out for the use of employees and trainees as well as the ultimate end users.
Technical writers, to be effective, should possess a set of requisite skills. They should have good command over English, or other relevant languages and be well versed in the techniques of writing. They should be skilled at design and illustration.
A technical writer’s responsibilities would generally cover the following:
1. Developing end-user documentation for products
2 Developing technical documentation/curriculum
3. Creating and redefining graphics, text and layout of courseware
4. Editing, rewriting and authenticating technical instructional information
5. Developing and maintaining style guides
6. Developing user manuals and online help systems
The responsibilities relating to technical communication would cover the activities relating to technical writers, curriculum developers, technical publication specialists, technical editors and even graphic designers.
Technical writing in the field of Software and Information Technology Management calls for proficiency in the relevant tools and programs, apart from strong domain knowledge and communication skills. The tools and programs appropriate for the job would include MS Word, Lotus Word, PageMaker, Frame Maker, Interleaf, Acrobat, Illustrator and Photoshop.
Bringing out technical publications of high quality with accuracy would call for knowledge and experience of page layout, publishing design, typography, graphic design principles, colour theory, proofreading and editing skills.