Getting Tech Savvy

I do not have much experience in Technical Writing. In fact there was a time when I used to think Technical Writing was not for me, primarily because I was not too confident about learning hard core technology related stuff. After three months of technical writing exercises, I do not find it as difficult as I found it before. But yes, the initiative and hard work that I put in to make this possible is worth sharing with you all.

When I joined my new company three months back, there were just too many things to learn. My tasks were as follows:

  • Write a user manual for the BRMS
  • Create demos/tutorials using Captivate or Camtasia
  • Convert the user manual into a PDF using Framemaker

All these tasks had to be done over a period of time, but I had to learn so much to execute these tasks. My learning goals were as follows:

  • Learn the product (BRMS) (this was a big task… because I had to get familiarized with hard core technology)
  • Learn HTML and CSS
  • Learn tools: Dreamweaver, Captivate/Camtasia, Framemaker
  • Refer sample user manuals to decide upon the style of my user manual
  • Learn Photoshop basics

If you are an aspiring Technical Writer and have no clue about technology and work around knowledge of authoring tools, you can imagine my plight.

Most people assume that tech writing is for those who know well about technology and work well with tools like Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Take my word… this is not true. To get started with technical writing you need to

  • Be a tech savvy
  • Be inquisitive
  • Take lots of initiative
  • Make attempts to learn new stuff on your own

In the next few posts, I shall share my experiences in achieving my learning goals.



5 Responses

  1. You have made a good start. With your M.Phil. background and your natural flair for writing presenting a paper, I feel you will make good headway. It is not as if you are new to writing. It is just that you are entering a new field. You have to find the leads, take tips, put in a lot of initiative, use your inherent intelligence, and presto, you will blossom in your career, and I am sure you will become a pioneer and torchbearers for other aspirants.

  2. The part where you mention the following,
    # Be inquisitive
    # Take lots of initiative
    # Make attempts to learn new stuff on your own

    That is so very true. There is only so much help that can be provided in the form of training, help, documentation and so on. People need to put in lots of Enthu themselves. They need to want to learn, they need to ask questions, they need to want to improve.

    I liked it that you mention those points. Very nice!

  3. If one thinks aloud, one will find that one never had experience of any sort before plunging into any activity.Initiative,hard work and “I can learn anything” attitude are the three most important prerequisite for launching into any activity. The three together forms a solid spring board for success. It is indeed very nice of you to have chosen to put in the web your experience. I am sure many youngsters will be inspired by your blog. I will very religiously walk with you in your endeavour.

  4. Dear Rupa,

    I am working on freelance basis, so I want how much to charge to for writing user manual , page wise/wordcount wise? How much to charge develope 25 page robohelp html file?

  5. Dear Rupa,

    Nice to read your blog. Information is very useful and inspiring. I am also working as a Technical Writer. Im very much comfortable with learning new technologies and accomplishing my tasks, but often find difficulties in writing flair and want to be a perfect writer. Please guide me how to develop perfect writing skills?
    Thanks for your guidance.

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