Software Technical Writer
Everything You Wanted to Know About Software Technical Writer
An Introduction to Software Technical Writer
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job market for software technical writers to grow at 12% faster than the average by 2030. Additionally, the same statics show that the number of U.S. technical writers was at 52 300 in 2020. As a result, this is among the well-paying career in the technical communication category. Software technical writers develop e-learning courses to train their managers, workers, and clients on software systems. Read on to understand more about a software technical writer. Here we go!
Frequently Asked Questions About Software Technical Writer
What does a software technical writer do?
A software technical writer is responsible for creating technical documentation that describes how to use and set up software products. In other words, software technical writers understand the systems, their interactions, and architectural structures. They prepare user system user guides, reference guides, new feature guides, and notes to help their audience understand system software.
How do I become a software technical writer?
Are you considering a career as a software technical writer? Take the following steps to get qualified in the field!
- Get your bachelor’s degree
Software technical writers can find work with an Associate’s degree, but earning a bachelor’s degree can give you an added advantage.
Create a portfolio by volunteering to undertake an unpaid internship to acquire experience and develop your software technical writing skills.
Enhance your qualifications by pursuing a software technical writer certification through the Society of Technical Communications.
What is a technical writer in tech?
Clear information and instruction are crucial for complex and confusing subjects. This provision makes it necessary for most technology companies to hire technical writers. So, what exactly is this technical writer? A technical writer creates technical documentation and transforms the difficult written materials into clear documentation that the audience may easily understand.
Is it hard to become a technical writer?
Yes, technical writing may be very challenging depending on several factors, such as your geographical location, language, and social skills. But still, ability and willingness to learn and speak up, ask questions, work under minimal supervision, and work well with teammates with minimum ego, you can do well in technical writing. Certifications and earning a degree may be useful in getting a job. As with most jobs, personal interests and attitude towards the job are even more important.
Is a technical writer a good career?
Recently technical writing has been increasingly picking up space due to increased demand for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technological advancement in various fields. Along with this, technical writing is a well-paying career, offers a variety of opportunities, has a variety of specialty areas, and job satisfaction is the best. In 2016, Forbes ranked technical writers’ jobs among the top four most promising jobs that will grow with technology. Therefore, since technological growth relies on technical writing, organizations are more than willing to invest most resources in technical writing for quality content to provide appropriate communication to their audience. Therefore, technical writing is one of the best career options for you.
What job category is a technical writer?
A technical writer’s job belongs to the technical communication category. Technical writers essentially break down complex technical documentation like user manuals, online journal articles, website help sections, and other relevant content into easy-to-understand guides to help the target audience understand how to use the product or service.
How much do entry-level technical writers make?
According to Forbes, the technical writer job is among those high-paying roles people can land. A technical writer earns approximately $52,601 annual pay at the entry-level. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the 2020 median pay for a technical writer is $74,650 per year, which translates to approximately $35.89 per hour.
What skills do you need to be a technical writer?
Due to increasing demands in technology, tech writing skills are constantly changing. This change makes it difficult to identify the required skills in advancing your technical writing career. Below are the top skills technical writers should have:
- Writing skills- a technical writer needs to write clear, concise, and straightforward documentaries to convey complex information in a simple language.
- Teamwork- a good technical writer must have the ability to communicate well and work collaboratively with other departments.
- Design skills- the technical writer must have design skills like information design, information architecture, and graphic design skills to communicate the technical information visually in charts, written format, and videos to enhance easy understanding and make it more appealing to the end-users.
- Editing skills- technical writers should consider proofreading skills, content review skills, structure, and style to analyze their work, edit, and format the technical information to make it clear to the audience.
Is technical writing a good degree?
Yes, in terms of job satisfaction earnings, availability of opportunities, availability of hiring industries, availability of internship opportunities, and schools for tech writing courses, it is the best degree you should enroll.
Is Technical Writing a dying field?
Technical writers play an important role in many industrial sectors like medicine, education, electronics, finance, biotechnology, and IT. These industries focus on technical content to enhance and build communication with their end-users. Due to the increase in market competition, availability and accessibility of the internet have increased the need of most industries to hire more technical writers to prepare user manuals and help in e-learning programs to meet the crazy deadlines., like any other field, technical writing is not a dying field but an evolving one.
What are three top qualities of a good technical writer?
Companies are strategizing their recruitment strategies due to a talent shortage. However, some are opting for managed service providers or staff argumentation. Nonetheless, as companies adopt staff outsourcing strategies, technical writer should enhance their competencies. The qualities of a good technical writer are endless, but the following are the three top ones:
- Passion for technology and software
To be a good technical writer, you must love technology. They need to understand technology on what they are writing about to make it more understandable to the users and always stay updated to convey appropriate information.
- Ability and passion for writing
A good technical writer should love writing and communicate effectively in writing and in a way that the readers can easily understand. They should also finish the projects on time and meet project requirements.
Technical writers should work collaboratively and get along with people from different backgrounds and departments. As a technical worker, you need to communicate effectively with engineers, product managers, project managers, clients, and other stakeholders to find the appropriate information for quality content creation.
What are the 10 attributes of technical writing?
It is important to know the key characteristics of technical writing for consistency. They include:
- Degree of formality- technical writing should stick to a technical subject like engineering, education, or even business.
- Purposive- technical writing documentaries should always be written for a reason to explain what was done and why it was done. Purpose helps inform, instruct, persuade, recommend, and even report and request.
- Has an objective- technical writing should maintain a goal to meet the end-user needs.
- Convey intended information, facts, and data- technical writing must pass solid information in a more credible way that the audience can easily understand.
- Concise- technical writers should stay concise and direct to the point. So, services, procedures, and objects should be described precisely and accurately.
- Archival- technical writing content is archival. It should be retained as a record and used as a future reference.
- Be impersonal- people’s names should not be included in technical writing.
- Detailed information- technical writing is comprehensive and informative. Detailed information is required without any omission.
- Sequential and logical- technical writing should have step-by-step information to avoid contradictions.
- Ethical- technical writers are linked to ethical obligations like liability laws, copyright laws, and trademark laws.
What are the types of technical writing?
Technical writing is an expansive field that easily breaks down complex technical information to understand the end-users. For clarity purposes, it has the following genres:
- Instruction manuals-they are technical documents written to provide clear answers to questions that help use technical software and make the understanding of a product stronger for the end-users. They need to be detailed and concise for easy understanding.
- Reports and reviews- technical writers create reports for business and organizational growth.
- Proposals- a highly persuasive technical document written to get an individual or a group to do something
- White papers-they is written to point out the success of a company’s products or services. Technical writing is problem-oriented, where the technical writers create documentation to create solutions about the company’s product or service.
- Brochures- brochures are pretty pictures created by technical writers to create a deeper understanding and provide clear descriptions of the functions and uses of the product. Technical writers can create promotional brochures to help in the marketing of the product. They may develop marketing emails, sales letters, and product leaflets to inform potential customers of the available offers to attract them.
- Case studies- these are reports that give out details on how an organization’s financial goals with the help of the product. They identify data patterns about the subject for generalization purposes.
- Training manuals- technical writers compile information for a job training manual. The areas to be outlined in the manual may include; general information about employees or employers, company policies, duties, and responsibilities.
- Literature reviews are technical writing that provides existing information on the product or service. Technical writers provide information on previously conducted findings on the product or service.
- Press releases are short formal, and compelling documents sharing news on the company’s users.
What are the 5 components of technical writing?
- Clarity: Technical writing requires clear and concise sentences to help the users understand the content.
- Accessibility: Technical writers should include headings, a table of contents, illustrations to make it easy for the audience to assess the information they need.
- Accuracy: Technical writers should avoid errors in their writing to avoid damages, injuries, and embarrassment to the companies. For effectiveness, technical writing must be correct.
- Appropriate for the intended audience: A good technical writer should recognize their audiences to achieve clarity.
- Easy to understand: Technical documentation should have easy-to-understand words for its audience.
Why should I be a technical writer?
Most people consider technical writing a boring and difficult field, which is not always the case. The following are the reasons why one should become a technical writer:
- Technical writing is a good-paying job: Technical writers make good earnings which of course varies according to the number of factors like years of experience, location, certifications, and level of education.
- Creativity: Technical writing is a creative job that helps one understand technology better and thus increases one’s ability to be updated on new technological developments in real life. Therefore, technical writing is not a routine.
- Have a set of skills: To become a good technical writer, one should have skills like love for technology, passion for writing, communication skills, and be a team player.
Is technical writing all about technical jobs?
Many people think technical writing is very technical since it involves preparing software manuals and difficult instruction materials. But technical writing is more than this. With the growing technology, technical writing involves converting complex documentaries into an easily understandable language.
The longer and lengthy user manual format is changed. Technical information must be broken down into written format, visualized in charts and graphs, presented in video form to make the information appealing, effective, and easily understood by the audience. Thus, technical writing is not all about technical jobs but full of fun.
What is the difference between a content writer and a technical writer?
The content writer requires strong writing skills, creativity, and understanding of the audience to achieve the goal and attract the target audience. In contrast, technical writers need to have deeper technical knowledge about a specific subject matter and follow a strict format in preparing documentaries.
Is a technical writing certificate worth it?
Yes, a technical writing certificate is beneficial for writers with little or no working experience and who need academic credentials to assure employers that they can deliver quality works. During the initial stages of an application screening, the certificate can help one stand out from the crowd.
What are the challenges of a technical writer?
Technical writers encounter several challenges in their work, including inadequate information about product users and their needs, outdated tools, last-minute changes of products, difficulty finding someone to review your work, and finding information from subject matter experts. However, some claim that technology may replace writers in the future, AI technologies such as Microsoft’s Turing Natural Language Generation (T-NLG) remain a concern among software technical writers.
On the Bottom Line
Software technical writers create and manage technical documentation that helps stakeholders understand the underlying technology. They attend conferences with their clients, which allows them to gather information on which area needs to be updated in the online documentation materials. However, it is often difficult to find a technical writer with the right skills for every task. Fortunately, Sonatafy Technology can connect you to a pool of talented and dedicated technical writers. Through the Nearshore software development, you are guaranteed to get enterprise options, resources within your time zone, and Technical writers proficient in English. Book a free consultation online or call (619) 736-7218 and get more information on leveraging the advantages of working with a software technical writer through Sonatafy Technology today!