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Technical Writer Training

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By Colin Ramsden, May 2006.

Writing resourcesProfessional writers require a developed skillset including a user focus. Technical writers need to be actively monitoring their skillset as technologies change. They need to remain aware of industry trends and movements. They need to communicate and compare themselves with their peers. They need to know when to update their skillset, and when they don't have to.

"How do they do this?", I sense you're thinking. I'm glad you asked.

The professional technical writers (TW) amongst us do this by networking amongst our peers. By reading dedicated TW sites like this one. By reading books about writing and writing tools. By monitoring dedicated TW and tool email lists. By attending local monthly branch meetings of societies of writers, and by attending annual regional TW conferences.

Not all writers do all these things, nor should they have to, if they don't want to. Some don't do any at all, and some do everything. Those that don't do any at all won't be reading what I write here, so there's no chance of offending them here. That is their loss. Perhaps they'll see the error of their ways when they next need to apply for a job.

We each need to do what we can, and what we think is acceptable. Personally, I keep myself up-to-date by monitoring some pertinent TW lists, being enrolled to receive email updates and notification from TW software vendors and industry news vendors, reading literature including trade journals and books, and attending the annual Australian TW conference.

I use this website for several purposes:

Before you can write authoritively about something, you really need to know something about the subject being discussed. The best way to highlight what you don't know about a particular subject is when you try to write it all down. I now know that I don't know very much at all. And the more I learn, the more I realise I don't know!

By creating, writing, editing, and maintaining this website, I am constantly updating my skillset, knowledge, experience, and writing ability. I'm always in training.

The Australian Online Documentation Conference (AODC) is an excellent training resource which I attend to give myself an annual TW checkup. I am able to compare my skillset and experience, working practices, and tools of choice with my industry peers and experts. Many tech writers work alone or isolated from other writers, and the conference is a marvellous opportunity to catch-up and share with your fellow writers.

Do you constantly improve your skills and experience? Are you professional about being a technical writer? I am.



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See Also

  Jump across to separate topicTechnical Writing | Jump across to separate topic Effective Communication | Jump across to separate topic Effective Managers | Jump across to separate topic Advanced Technical Writing | Jump to site home page Lotech Solutions' Tips, Tricks, and Procedures

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