SO YOU WANT TO BE A TECHNICAL WRITER | Sridhar Machani | Skillshare

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teacher avatar Sridhar Machani, Technical Writing Pro, Storyteller

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Lesson 1. Class Overview

    • 2. Lesson 2. Introduction

    • 3. Lesson 3. Technical Writers at Work

    • 4. Lesson 4. Breaking into the Job

    • 5. Lesson 5. Conclusion

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About This Class

In this introductory course, you will evaluate Technical Writing as a potential career. You will learn:

  • Introduction to Technical Writing
  • Processes and Tools
  • Technical Writers at Work
  • Breaking into a Technical Writing job

Technical Writing, part of the Technical Communication suite of roles, is one of the top four careers that are growing, and not dying, because of new technology. It is one of the best paying and the fastest growing career option for writers, editors, and content professionals.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of Technical Writers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for technical writers was $70,930 in May 2017.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sridhar Machani

Technical Writing Pro, Storyteller


Hello, I'm Sridhar from Bangalore. I wear many hats from creative and technical writing to writing apps, learning data visualization, and dabbling in filmmaking.

Connect with me as I teach the complete lifecycle of Technical Writing, improve your productivity, and a few career hacks that I learned during a few career transitions and global market recessions to stay happily employed.

Thanks and take care!

See full profile

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1. Lesson 1. Class Overview: Hello, my friend. Welcome to the introductory lesson off this class. So you want to be a technical writer? My name mysteries of Chinese from Bangor, India. I wear many hats from creator and technical writing developing. Perhaps we're trying to anyway, learning data visualization now happening with teaching. Some of the companies I worked for as a technical writer include Cisco, Arkle, Juniper Networks, Simmons feeling on Hewlett Packard Over 10 years, I've learned a lot on the job from a manager's seniors and convicts. I've helped my teams with driving and training technical writers for many years. Who's this glass floor? This class is scared to our writers, editors and any other creative technical professionals looking to streets to an in demand carrier option as a full time job. In fact, technical writing can also walk out as an excellent chars. You feel looking for park time, long toe, get supple, are the projects. The last requires no prior experience of technical writing. Whatever it is recommended that you poses in use writing and reading comprehension skills. It is also a plus if you have explosion two and curiosity about software applications are any other type of products so I learned technical writing. Technical erecting, also called technical communication, is one of the top four carriers that are growing and not dime because of new technologies like artificial intelligence automation. It is one of the best pain and the fastest growing career option for writers, editors and content professionals. In fact, a garden do. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. The employment off technical writers is projected to grow 11% from 2 2016 to 2026 faster than the average off all other occupations combined. Media Nanny Wage for different writers Waas. 70,000 930 U. S. Dollars in May 2070. That's good, right In this class, you'll evaluate technical writing as potential career technical writing processes on tools for the workflow of documentation. Life psychological DD and see technical writers at Work. Hard is one break into a technical writing child, and here is a Boehner's for booze, looking for a transition into technical writing. Also a natural moment. Let's step back a little. I made the transition to technical writing as area after spending many years in other roads . It was billed, knew to switch. Curious At that point, however, it was also indeed scary. Without someone to guard me one way or the other in the house, I am happy I made the right move in this lands. I hope you will have all the resources to make an informed decision whether to make a switch are not engaging from the career switch in more ways than one doing. Because of this course, we're gonna have a project. So you figure by a car you never go to buy a car without district. We don't distract, right? Likewise, Old Course of this class. You can weigh technical writing as a period. Why are guided hands on project? You will create a user guide also called documentation fallen the principles off the DLC that we spoke about over a cycle of research, drafts and reviews. At the end of this class, you will get the question experience off what it's like to be on the job as a technical. In fact, you can add the user guide that developed during this class. Do you poor fool you as a sample that most hiding managers seek and ask for? You can even link it to your Lyndon performed if you want to. He has a phone challenge for you. Look at the house for a user guide. I know it's difficult to find, but try anyway and push a big chair off it in the community section of this class. Thank you. I'm excited that you have decided to take this class. How nice Gains. Take care. Interesting under the next class. 2. Lesson 2. Introduction: Hello and welcome to the second Listen, introduction to technical writing. This is a big knuckles. Of course. Let's get started. It is. Listen, we're gonna define what its technical writing understand What was a different Howard was different from other types of writings on what was technical writing mean? Are you gonna see will solve the examples off technical writing or pens off or foods a technical writer? Let's and I bet in deferred We're going to start the project that you could share with the class subordinates technical writing. So what is even technical means? Here's the ignition off people from a dictionary. It's easy to grasp why writing about technical subjects spans several industries and moments. Therefore, when you combine technical on writing were are the apartment about writing. About particular subjects are our craft. It can be a problem if you can do it service. It can be a procedure. It can be a set of steps that somebody has to do, and so on. 13 bots, different kind self industries, different kinds. So what goes? You can understand invigorating by knowing the girl selfish, Typical writing makes difficult subjects, and procedure is easy to understand. and follow. In general, the output of technical writing lands into a pocket of fighting. It's called documentation. Good off come across documentation for different kinds of to get killer and descends instructions in the arms of somewhere called the user so that the user conduct of this something that you wanted to do something like. If you use a long to understand something because the concept, if they use in order to perform some of us are several problem, it would be a procedure if you had a lot of fun toe the accepted to clear their enough listen. End of topic recorded a reference. Now that we understand a bit about technical ranking, let's look at a form of this nation off the feet that encompasses the technical reading job . Technical communication are just take off. The Society for Technical Communication are based, You see is the world's largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of the feet off technical communication. What all technical communicators have in common is a user centred approach to providing the right information in the right way at the right time to make someone's life easier and more productive of the jobs that a part of technical communication are a simple rattles and editors, indexes, information architects, instructional designers, less Trudeau's globalization and global evolution specials, usability professionals resume designers, Web designers and so on. No, let's look at some of the examples of technical backing. Here is one such example of the use of back this one is a user guy for a lot of heat up. Here is another example off a quick stop grab that would come with it can draw on the band for, or something like that. Official Who's guides have Freedia fortunes on the monitor to its websites. Typically, you can find the members support or documentation. Blake on the websites from here is a getting started guy for the same camera. Usually they come along booked many different documents. This woman's of getting started back for doctor. I thought recently it was essential to set up that often and even has an affair que section for when things go book as expected, to lose a single bait instruction, there is a lengthy list off examples of technical writing, 12 in a 300 friends, guides and come on difference guys for self reproach. Gravel's but it is a system administrator guide for that means who set out for that and force policies, even another condition such as billboards, John Systems, spirit of his head, consistent sense in relation but are elaborate objectives for professionals and patients in the medical, aviation and manufacturing industries imagining please. And I don't want those Check this. What could be at ST that can be citizen videos if facts our husband reported in some cases idea even I can be at stake now that you know what is practical writing on. And we have seen some of the examples off documentation. Here is a big project startup febrile. So I didn't including the course of this class. You could use a bag. You not be a big what? It can start off with a project I can share our template from literally. So here's walk you can do from now you can select the Bible more electrocution that will deliver and talk about this time. Who the typical rule it up the ass is is it peptic people? Person on? Is they expected to be a bloomin something that a first our gallery army form toe pick off them on, but we'll continue the project. All the girls off next. Few lessons. Thank you. And let's keep fully If you have any pushing for you to post your questions in the community section off Discuss. Thank you. 3. Lesson 3. Technical Writers at Work: Hello and welcome to the lesson three of this class. A snake being into the life off technical writers at work in this listen, processes that does that A part of the recommendation development lifecycle. We're gonna look at some of them on. We're going to look at a typical day in the life of a technical writer. How do we deal with people? Processes tools on the craft. DTSC consider that your organization is developing an app that is going to change the world . And you're the technical writer tasked with developing the user guide for the APP. John doing this picture is a primary developer on this project and therefore he is your point of contact for getting inputs and review comments. He is the one you can go to if you need any testbed access are if you want to install the test washing off the app as it gets double not similar to the software development process document development, lifecycle, rdd, etc. Is the workflow off developing your document? Our guy from when the planning stage, when it takes shape until it is published on then updated as needed. Here's the workflow off DLC. It includes the analysis, face design, face development, face review, phase and edit, face publishing and then maintenance. Let's look at each of them briefly. Audience analysis. As a technical writer, you begin with asking a few questions about who the audience for the guide will be researching. What the APP is about by interviewing and, if possible, testing the APP. It typically ends with creating a table of contents. Listen, the topics that will be part of the document tools used at this stage include meetings. Distracts is to the AB product design and functional specs. Also Carlos DS and FS documents. And if there are any demos, those come in handy as well. In the design face, the look and feel are the style of the guy typically already exists in the form of templates. Unless you're about to create a new guide from the scratch. Tools used are part of the authoring tools are the biggest suit off kind of management systems. By the way, look out for the Microsoft word template I've shared with you in this class. You can use it for your project to create the user guy in the development face. You don't love the initial version of the guide called the first draft of using the doctrine to include Screenshots. Our vigilance illustrations for the topic or the task if it seems confusing or hard to explain exactly the truth used during the development phase include authoring tools, which can be anything from a Microsoft word our wiki. Other products, such as frame maker Robo Help, Our MCA flair, are any example. Based predators such as X metal oxygen on arbor text also calls The Advocate It Up are not here about the flow off working the draft. I'm not here about the flow off Writing the draft one isn't the regular free flow style, like any of the regular writing, sometimes referred to us on structured authoring. The other style is structure, which is a fancy way to really finding a hierarchical, hierarchical way off, writing the elements off the guy, such as the head of sections, paragraphs, lists, tables and images, and how all of them are style to a particular guide. Asked for the company's other documents, it is enforced by defining the hierarchy so that the authoring tool will flak errors and are Sometimes it won't even let you straight out of the hierarchy. Deter is another important keyword to get familiar with. For now, it's sufficient to remember that Detroit is an XML based style of faltering and publishing . The guides most organizations have bitter are a flavor of detail. As part of their processes in the review face, the first draft is expected to be about 60 to 80% accurate and complete. Personally, I go for a raft first draft and send it out to the stakeholders called the reviewers their product managers. Del Oppa's quality assurance of the testing team User experience team. Another specialist who can validate dependent off the job for accuracy and completeness. At this stage you get you know what needs to be included, what shooting and for how deep you can explain the details of certain features. It is expected that the reviewers are busy with the work position. It's up to you to chase them down, remind them and bring them to the table gently, often setting a formal meeting on the calendars. Works Windows tools used include emails in person meetings, screen sharing. Why are meeting Ah Vicky Award draft a PdF washing for annotation and song in the publisher maintain face. Before publishing the guide, there will be a series of activities that you have to perform as a technical writer to get the guide error free, accurate and user friendly. It also has to confirm to the standards off the style gate off the organization you're working for. The activities include spell checks, broken link checks, fixing any formatting issues and any other last minute obits that often creeping to the guide. It's not already if it's not already available, you can create a checklist to go with this set off tasks to prepare for publishing the guide. It will help in the next release off The guy. The guide is published to the public are privately with access to customers and employees often organization. The guide can be published as a PdF on a wiki or as a Shamil, Ours online help tell. The tools and used for publishing include Wiki website are content management system in the maintain face, the whole life cycle is repeated, except that there will be a few minor updates that will be made. There'll be major minor, very minor releases off the or it might come to enough life, which means the APP will no longer be developed or supported by the organization. The guide can be operated unpublished as ermon the release of soccer, using the same DLC workflow in the last listen, you selected a Web farmable app that your family you understood, who's the typical user of the act. Technical our General Lehman. Now let's continue with the project. You create a table of contents. You can use Microsoft or Google Dogs Open Office Writer Are any of the rich text editor of your choice? You can use Microsoft Word that attaches for the user Guided this class after your created a table of contents. Share it with the reviewable by email Dropbox or Google Garden For any missing or unwatered topics, the reviewer can be someone you know who is also using our assurance of this class. Be open to becoming a reviewable for others in this class is well after the POC is agreed upon and finalized, you get started with drafting the topics is finally we typically start with a brief concept , a procedure with or without screen shops. This is your draft share. The completed are familiar draft with the review for feedback thank you. And let's keep moving as we get going with the technical writing class, as usual. If you have any questions, feel free to push in the community section of this class. Buy a ticket. 4. Lesson 4. Breaking into the Job: Hello and welcome to the lesson for of this class. About breaking into the technical writing job in this lesson will go over some of the books off being a technical writer. Dull, bad and ugly moments work life balance for addictive technical writer The career growth prospects. We discussed the profile off a technical writer, and we prepare your portfolio and resuming for a technical rated job. If that's what you want, we're going to look at how to Sharpless potential jobs, how to prepare for the technical writer interview and what to expect during the interview on whether it's a go for you are not. Indeed, everyone thinks technical writers have got it all on the job. Seemingly no stress. Come and go out of the office like clockwork, and they always look happy. Well, it can be a times on often not so rosy like in any other job. It's really up to you how you manage a job, beers and your boss. You will be interrupted for just a bit and pulled into important meetings. Incoming book just doesn't stop. Everything is a priority. Even if we release is done, industrial with the arrest can haunt us, like goes after many months or years, sometimes miss long and burned the midnight lambs before every release. That's guaranteed. However relatively speaking, The technical writing job can be rewarding and enjoyable. If you love the chaos, enjoy the new technology. Live for the endless verifications on love. Being around people and meetings. The joy is in seeing your words out there to the users, knowing that they have helped them with something and has saved your organization a few support calls. Saving some precious money Technical writers can ruin toe managers on unusual specialists such as information architects. They can also switch to related fields such as user experience, data visualization and instruction design, as long as their products on this planet services ABS industries and as long as there are consumers of such things, there will be an ongoing demand for information related to them, thereby the technical writers. Technical writers should have a flavor for writing. Be great with edits and follow routine are repetitively procedures. They must understand technology and communicate concepts and procedures in simple and accurate manner. That's a profile of a technical writer. Most technical writers have a language and communication background like mass communication , our general ism off you off. A few of them, including myself, have a technical background such as computer science. People have made the transition to technical writing from both these education domains successfully. Therefore, all that matters is supposes related skills that are essential to get the job done. Well, you can visit Clinton and search for technical writers. Check out the career progressions to get an idea off how a profile of a technical writer looks like. Let's talk a little bit about the job interview for technical writing. Nothing works better than a portfolio off your work to show and tell in your resume on in the interview. Therefore, if you're not already started, go ahead and complete the project mentioned in this class and keep creating more samples, especially because you're trying to break into a new carrier. It makes up for the dreaded. Do you have any experience? Question. I don't know. The trial versions off the authoring tools such as Adobe Frame Maker. All my gout flared right? A few simple user guides using this software for one off your favorite APS mentioned the same in your resume. Create a sample one or two page resume. Every resumes shirts you send out should be tailor made for the company you are applying for. This is true for any job off course at any level of the road. Include only the details element for the job application. Otherwise, you risk falling into a trap. Sharpless and jobs you will apply for is an art. Be short, apply for the experience level they're looking for. No, not blind for the jobs that you know, you're not fit for that they will reject. For sure, John the Estrosi mailing lists off a local chapter. Tap into your network and get introductions to technical writers in their organizations. Dr. Them get the reference to apply if they have openings reference gone more than any other external applications. Find Amanda and seek their advice as part of a technical writing interview. There will be a written test to check your writing, grammar and reading comprehension skills. You can expect the content to be technical, which does how comfortable you are with technical country. Read about the company you are applying for before going for the interview, read their documentation. It will surely help you during the interview. There will be some questions about DLC data on the tools used on the technical writing job . You might be asked to create the table of contents for an imaginary product, all for a nap you're familiar with. We have discussed the structures in this class. Of course, there are a lot more things we can talk about in the upcoming classes. In the last lesson, you have created a table of contents and created the first draft. You also shared the draft with the river on fixed. Any comments in the guide? Now let's finish it after two user guide. Based on the review comments, this will be your final Jack and seek a final review on China from the reviewer on optional step is to perform sanity checks on the final draft. It is headed Monday. You have to spell check. You have to check for broken wings on so a good check on visual quality is also important. Check for any formatting issues you can publish this years ago to your block our sample on your linked in profile. It led up to your portfolio on your all set for a big hug and many congratulations Thank you. Be patient and good luck. If you have any questions as usual, post them in the community section of this class. Buy a ticket. 5. Lesson 5. Conclusion: Hello and welcome to the final lesson of this class. Congratulations. You have come to the end of this class. Hope you have benefited from it. Let's recap what we have learned in this class. We talked about why technical writing can be a good career choice, and we're trying to figure it out if it is for you. We spoke about what technical writing is and discovered a few documentation examples. We introduced DLC as the world through on the job, discuss the tools as well, and got a sneak peek into a typical day in the life of a technical writer. Finally, we discussed how you can prepare your portfolio and raising me for a technical writing job , if that's what you're interested in. We also discussed a few points about how you can Sharpless the jobs and prepare for the job interview and what they expect during them. To be way, have a project designed to get a hands on experience off creating and use the guy. If you're not yet started, be sure to check out the template of shared in this class. With the project, you would begin to gain an experience into how documentation actually takes shape. You might even getting to make an informed decision about whether technical writing job is for you or not one way are another. I'll be happy if this glass help you in your career goals. Thank you for taking this class. I hope you could get a sneak peek into the technical writing job. There are many more classes to come related to technical writing. Do follow me to get notified about these glasses when they're ready. I'll be happy to connect with you on Help you with any questions you may have. Thanks again and good luck.