To create a technical document, a technical writer must understand the audience and purpose. The writer gathers information by studying existing material and interviewing SMEs. The technical writer also studies the audience to learn their needs and technical understanding level.
Technical writers can add a great deal of value to your products or services.
I bring this article to you courtesy of Forbes.com, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original artical here.
Aaron Fulkerson, 08.09.10, 12:00 PM EDT
Product and services documentation is now a core business asset that can drive revenues.
When people in technology hear the word “documentation” it conjures images of the ’90s, when software shipped on CDs, in boxes, with thousand-page user manuals that were costly to create and bordered on useless to the end user. The teams authoring those materials have been viewed as a cost center, and their products only minimally satiating customer demand for product documentation.
Technical Writing in South Africa is, in my opinion, very much in its infancy.
In my time as a self-employed contract Technical Writer, I have come to realise that some software development houses would appear to regard a Technical Writer as not dissimilar to that of a glorified typist who would produce something resembling a user manual. The practice of delegating the production of a user manual to the developer or to the marketing department is also one that is used quite often.