where the jobs are in technical writing

Where the Jobs Are in Technical Writing

While for some the choice to become a technical writer is obvious, the industry one chooses to work in is just as important as the initial decision to become a technical writer. If you are about to head out with newly minted degree in hand, or looking for a new opportunity, finding out where the jobs are in technical writing and other tech comm fields marks one of the biggest steps you can take. Continue reading ...

technical communication recap

TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for March 29, 2013

TechWhirl celebrates 20 years of conversation, debate, and knowledge sharing in March, having started as the first email discussion list for technical writers back in March of 1993. Our technical communication recap, including this week’s technical communication poll shows how some questions, and the ensuing debate, seem to be eternal. Like the “Purpose of Tech Comms Today” thread, started by Steve Janoff, which asks whether technical communication has a chance in the face of instantaneous searches, user forums, and such. Continue reading ...

iFixit University Technical Writing Program Expands with Educator Workshop

Seeking to expand the iFixit University Technical Writing Program, iFixit has scheduled an educators workshop on June 20-21 at their offices in San Luis Obispo, CA. The program, initiated in 2009 with Cal Poly faculty engages students with a hands-on, repair-focused technical writing project. Over the last four years, the iFixit University Technical Writing Program expanded […] Continue reading ...

technical communication poll - tech tasks

Technical Communication Poll: Performing Technical Tasks

Over TechWhirl's not quite twenty years' accumulation of technical writing debates and discussions, we can find some recurring themes. One recurring theme concerns the balance between the technical and the writing sides of the job description. Recently, TechWhirler Robert Lauriston inspired this week's technical communication poll by asking list members about the most technical tasks they've had to perform as tech writers. The resulting answers go a long way towards proving that great technical communicators can handle both the technical and the communication duties with considerable success. Continue reading ...

Tips and Tricks: What To Look for in an Online Tech Comm Program

As both a student and a teacher, I've had the opportunity to sample a variety of online learning experiences. While online programs are tremendously useful (save time and money for starters), you could find yourself sacrificing other key elements (like quality of learning content and social interaction) that can make a difference in the long run. If you have determined that an online course is the right move for you, how can you make sure you don’t enroll in a bad program, and can enroll in a good one? Use this list of key elements as a guide when you’re shopping. Continue reading ...

TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for December 21, 2012

If you’re reading this, then continue your technical communication work as you have been for the last however-many years, no Mayan or Zombie Apocalypse today. Generally speaking we’re quite happy that the prophets of doom have again spoken too soon, since it means we have plenty of time for yakking it up about technical communications, content strategy and user experience. Continue reading ...

Freelancing: Are You Ready to Make the Leap?

Back when I was taking my technical writing certificate at Seneca College in Toronto, one of my professors spent three hours chatting with us about what it’s like being a freelance technical writer. She laughed a lot about the highs and lows, but a few things she said jolted me out of my assumptions and made me sit up and pay attention. One of them was that she would take literally any job that had anything remotely to do with editing, writing, or teaching. Or websites. Or technology. Or people. Or extreme ironing. Let me share what else I’ve learned as I’ve transitioned from student to full-time employee to part-time consultant to full-time consultant over the last eight years, while balancing three houses, two cities, one wedding, and two kids. Continue reading ...

Discovering Your Natural Writing Process: Extraversion vs. Introversion in Technical Writing

Accuracy and precision are critical to the success of a technical communicator. Your goal is to get the material right. But when you’re drafting content, the desire to get it right can keep you from getting it written. Drafts are the time for experimentation, for getting the material out of your head and into the authoring software. Awareness of your natural writing process—either the introverted or the extraverted—allows you to make the most of the draft and revision stages of technical writing. Continue reading ...

Technical Writing Poll: Best TV Shows Set in Chicago

If you enjoyed last week's poll, or tend to indulge in the couch potato forms of recreation when not doing technical writing chores, then you should be ecstatic about this week's technical writing poll. We know that there were loads of great movies set in Chicago, now it's time for you to vote on the wonders of the small screen. Continue reading ...