Technical writing

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Hey anybody who cud guide me on technical writing as a career option.
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Well, Nitika..it is a brillant decision to make a foraway in technical writing. I'ld ask you :

Have a flair for writing and a good grasp of technology? Try technical writing for a good mix of creative and IT ...First and foremost it is writing! One needs an outstanding ability to write; this ability improves over the years. Second it is a flair for technical stuff. Tech writing is supported by many tools. Generally these are 'authoring tools' that great teachers have used for decades. Most of them are computer-based tools and the 'theory' behind them is 'instructional design' an area well-studied by education psychologists. There are specific methodologies of instructional design, philosophies and techniques to address the needs of 'special learners' (first-time learners, fast learners, child learners, adult learners, slow learners, physically challenged learners and experts).

Regards
Raj

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Thanks a lot Everyone.

@Asif - bhai maine love letter de diya company ko.Now looking for something else. tech-writing,content-writing,media,advertising,theatre and what not.

@Motagadha aka Ronticus - thanks a lot for ur suggestions.will surely start exploring and thanks for the CV tip.I think i have lots to back up if it comes to my writing achievements.Am PMing u (on ronticus) my email id.In case if u knew of any oppurtunities ,please let me know.

@MiltonD - thanks boss!!! The way we are getting same scores ,lets hope we end up in same IIM this year!!! but until then,i need to explore more.
Yes am a B.Tech from NIT ,Calicut.I do not mind lower pay package as of now.I am getting 3+ in my current job but i am ready to go for a lower pay packet if I enjoy my work.

Again..thanks a lot guys.Am PMing u my details.

Rohit


I'm guessing you have resigned. So thats about two months leave before the CAT, and then you start job hunting. Good move!
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go for advertising man.....it's amazingly creative with not a dull moment in a day..........and nights of course ares something else

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Milton Bro,
I have two years of IT experience as a Software Engineer.My queries are :
1 > Can i switch over to this domain ?
2> Can you tell me about major companies which are hiring Tech-writers?
3> What is exact route to apply for this post.
Actually I have been trying from some time to enter into this domain but either I dont get a reply to my application due to my different profile or I am applying at wrong places.
Can you throw some light on this and give me some tips.

Rohit

P.S. Geetu!!! Yeh tune kya kar diya....itna lamba post!!! You all right?


Hi Rohit,

Let me clarify your queries with the information below, and then reply to your queries. It is what a typical recruiters mail looks like.

Summary of Key Responsibilities:
Development of Online Help (including Context Sensitive Help)
Development of User Guides, Admin Guides and other documents
Review of UI Strings and Readme Files
First level review of documentation
Review of Specification Documents
Contribution and adherence to UE Standards and processes
Creating templates in FrameMaker, Robohelp and Word with guidance
Copy edit of Online Help and Guides developed by peers before a release
Development of schedules for allocated features

Experience: 2 to 4 years of experience in technical writing

Skill Sets Required:
Must possess good written and oral communication skills.
Must have the ability to develop User Manuals, Online Help, and other documents for software products.
Must possess the ability to interpret highly technical information into clear and concise documentation.
Must be an excellent team player.
Must possess working knowledge of FrameMaker and RoboHelp.

Now to answer your questions

1. I definitely think you should be able to switch over. I'm assuming you have a BE/MCA/other tech background and it is a big advantage.

2. In the past few weeks, IBM, Symantec, Dell, Lucent, TCS and lots of smaller comapnies in Banglore have been hiring. I could foward you a ton of emails to your personal id.

3. Now this is the tricky question. The problem is that here, the typical fresher/lateral ratio is very skewed because most companies do not actually invest in training, and so the big companies rarely hire freshers. Only TCS does hire freshers (and you would have a fair idea of their pay scales :P). So you need to start out in a small company which is finding it difficult to hire a lateral, and then jump-ship. Most of my colleagues are/have been 30+ and have got into technical writing out of sheer chance or sheer determination ( a la moi). I started out at a few startups and then jumped ship.

You should also consider moving up higher the value chain of documentation because there is a lot of moolah for API, Chip level, or core telecom product documentation.
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motagadha returning as ronticus..............

hi

to answer your question(s) , estranged,

of course you can switch over to this domain........at least you're in the IT field........i switched to tech writing from a call centre!!

Every and each IT company (major and minor) needs tech writers/content developers - there are a lot more opportunities available than u may think - post cv on job sites or better go thru job consultants ..........this however, is not as good as doing a bit of research yourself..........i believe siemens is hiring right now, but if you're an abs fresher in this line, then it's going to be a little difficult to land yourself a good job......start off with 6 months in a small IT company, then move to a bigger company for a year or so, and then u can look at a decent pay packet (3+ lpa at least)

landing a tech writing job needs a bit more of self research than other jobs (where it's preferable to go through consultants/sites)...........the most imp. thing if you're new to this line is to REDO YOUR CV TO POINT ANY AND ALL WRITING EXPERIENCE YOU'VE HAD - FROM YOUR SCHOOL DAYS TO NOW

best of luck man.

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Milton Bro,
I have two years of IT experience as a Software Engineer.My queries are :
1 > Can i switch over to this domain ?
2> Can you tell me about major companies which are hiring Tech-writers?
3> What is exact route to apply for this post.
Actually I have been trying from some time to enter into this domain but either I dont get a reply to my application due to my different profile or I am applying at wrong places.
Can you throw some light on this and give me some tips.

Rohit

P.S. Geetu!!! Yeh tune kya kar diya....itna lamba post!!! You all right?


Oye Rohit bhai, yeh tech writing ka bhoot kabse sawaar hogaya yaar...


---Asif
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PGites who already work as technical writers, please give a brief overview about the c, skill sets required, pay packets for starters and experienced people, and future scope..

Also any experiences at work that you would like to share.

Lots of readers would be much obliged!

There is a similar thread http://www.stc-india.org/activities/surveys/STC_India_2005_Salary_Survey.pdf
Future Scope: Now this is a vague question.

If you start doing the grass and the freshly cleant weed on the job there is not much scope going to be left --> right?

OK on a more serious note, the tech writers with the right qualifications have exponential growth ahead of them. This is simply because there are very few experiences tech writers around and with product development moving "India" side, there are tons of new opportunities. And the best part is you have the opportunity to work with the biggest names in IT like HP, IBM, Sun, Microsoft, Lucent yada yada yada.

Phew, this was a long post. Should post this on my blog too (lol).

Feel free to contact me for more details.

Cheers,
M
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Hi..
i am a tech writer too! 😉

umm..

Job Profile: It depends on what kind of a company you are working for.
If you are working for a software company the job profile would mainly be writing, and editing user manuals. If you are in a E learning company, you will have a varied job profile, you could be writing Web Based training material (WBT's) you could be writing Instructor Led Training material (ILT's). In an Elearning company you will have to work along with graphics and integration team to finish the your product. I find this a little more interesting than normal documentation, which would normally be stuff you have never heard of before.. and in my own words be lil dry! :D
Keep that in mind, In technical writing you will usually write about stuff that you have NEVER worked on before or have never heard of before. But you can learn a lot.

Skill Set: Usually there isnt any specific skill set defined for technical writers. You should have a passion for writing ( but that doesnt mean you like creative writing.. cos then you will be bored soon) plus you need to have an aptitude for technology, because you r going to be writing and talkin about it day in and day out! Good command over the language is a must.

Pay Packet: I cant really advise anyone about the pay package.. because i am just 6 months old in the industry. But yes, technical writers with 2 years plus experience and a lot of good work behind them get fat pay packages!

Future Scope:
umm i dont know what you meant by future scope, because writing cannot go out of fashion. mayb you meant what does a person do after gaining experience.. well in that case in an elearning company you are promoted quickly to a senior writer or an Instructional Designer (depending on you r aptitude) and in a software company you graduate from a writer to a reviewer to trainer to a manager. ( i am not EXACTLY sure of this flow) :whatthat:

This must be one of the HUGEST (lol thats not a word! ) posts i have ever written!!! but hope it helps! 😃

luv
g

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PGites who already work as technical writers, please give a brief overview about the job profile, skill sets required, pay packets for starters and experienced people, and future scope..

Also any experiences at work that you would like to share.

Lots of readers would be much obliged!

There is a similar thread here and here, with very little information. Perhaps a mod could merge these with this one?

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hi

im brand new to this site
am working as a technical writer for a data recovery s/w company
let me know if you need any help, ..........and if any of you can provide help as far as DI goes in the CAT


MotaGadha,

I like saying that over and over (lol). Which storage tech. company is this?
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