Get advice from experts in the field of tech writing!
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is a retired professor who directed the master's degree program in Professional Writing. Dr. Dumont also taught graduate-level professional and technical writing courses. He has developed online courses in professional writing and has given faculty training workshops on computer technology.
How has the tech writing field changed?
important do you think it is for tech writers to have a background in science
Tech writers also have to be good readers and interviewers. They have to read technical information, understand it, and then translate it for a lay audience. But, tech writers also have to ask the right questions so they can elicit the desired responses from engineers, software developers, and the like. Because technology is changing so fast, it's important that tech writers be adaptable. They need to create flexibility for themselves.
If I were to create an ideal tech writer, I'd want that person to have some science and business background, preferably in marketing, and some programming skills. But beyond that, she should have outstanding problem solving skills. I've seen so-called tech writers ask someone to fix a minor software problem. If they can't solve problems for themselves, how are they going to do it for others?
courses would you recommend future tech writers take?
Another point is that some tech writers get caught up in wiz-bang features, like web sites with unnecessary animation. One of the most comical examples is a coffee web site that has all kinds of information on different blends of coffee, but no clear way to order the coffee. Bad design. Bad layout. Lost customers.