History of Technical Writing

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History of Technical Writing is an interesting fact for the writers to know. When this profession came into view, not much importance was given to it but consequently it emerged as the most important professions in almost all the Organizations worldwide.

Technical writing profession actually emerged in the early 1900s but it was recognized only after the Second World War.
During 1887, the higher level English was not included in the curriculum of various engineering schools. As a result, many engineering students were not trained to write. Engineering teachers were not giving much importance to English as they assumed that technical subjects are more important than English for engineering students. At that point of time, technical writing had a very low prestige, and if taught at all it was taught by very inexperienced faculty members.

Prior to the U.S. Civil War, a few books on the subject of technical writing were released in the early 1900s, but the crack between English and Engineering persisted and technical writing was not considered as a serious discipline.

Technical writing became a genuine profession during and after World War II; when the war-time technologies were translated into peacetime use. After the war, General Electric, General Motors, and Westinghouse developed technical writing units within their organizations.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I and this was the world’s first artificial satellite. The size of Sputnik Satellite was about 183 pounds.

By 1957 various colleges and universities introduced technical writing courses and the engineering students required some form of technical writing training. The successful launch of Sputnik and the beginning of the US Space Program significantly enhanced the need of technical writers.

With the introduction of ISO 9000 during 1987, a series of quality system standards that depended upon high quality written communication was introduced and that was how the requirement for technical writers started increasing day by day.

Objective of Technical Writing

Technical writing covers design documentation, references, Installation guides, user manuals, help desk sheets, online or offline tutorials and, any content, which is technical in character. With the surfacing of increasingly different audiences, users and customers of technical documents, the roles of technical writers are being modified consequently. Therefore, technical writers must keep some key goals in mind to produce specific, convincing and concise technical materials.

With the dawn of the computing era and the abundance of electronics and Web-technologies, technical document is produced in various forms and formats. Understanding formats and the vital tools to produce content for a particular format is vital in Technical writing.

Gathering information accurately and work together with subject matter experts, product designers, developers, engineers, technical architects etc. is one of the key assets to developing the right kind of technical document in any form and format and for any platform. Any form of technical document has to communicate effectively with its end users, audiences and customers.

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What is Technical Writing?

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Technical writing is a method through which specific information is conveyed to an intended audience for a specific purpose.

Technical writing is a way of communication between the communicator and the audience. It simplifies complex technical language into instructions in the form of a simple language so that it is be useful to the end users to carry out their tasks properly. It is not necessary that documents created by technical writers should be useful only to people related to the technical field. Therefore, technical writers should make sure that their documents must be understandable to the people with respect to all the fields. Hence, technical writing should always be crisp, clear and simple.

The main objective of technical writing is to understand the goals and the mind set of target audience so that the information can be communicated easily.

Now days, Technical Writing has become very significant in almost all the fields. It is the medium through which the technical information on any subject can be exchanged from one person to another. Therefore, it is also referred as technical communication.

Technical Writing – Make your career

Technical Writing is documenting the complex articles in a very simpler, crisp, clear and concise manner which a layman can understand. The aim of Technical Writing is to make the documents easily understandable by the audience and also to change the way people tend to do certain things currently. Technical Writing helps in following the instructions especially the technical procedures in a more precise manner.  Technical writers use tools such as Robo help, Frame Maker, Dream weaver and also to an extent HTML while making the documentation.

Aims of Technical Writing – is to make the documentation much simpler and user friendly to the audience. Tech writer designs an article in such a way that any individual should find it easy to carry out the instructions.

Objectives of Technical Writing – Tech writing helps in improving the current procedures technically to a simple and appropriate manner. Documents in Technical Writing are designed in such a way that the Global audience can understand the procedures.

Scope of Technical Writing – Technical documentations are used worldwide in one or the other way. It is used in various industries, educational institutions, pharmaceuticals and many other departments.

Scope for improvement – There will be informal training for Technical writing in most of the industries which is not sufficient, but there should be a certified formal training for technical writing, the way we have this particular training institute. This training can be provided to enhance the knowledge of a person who has flair for writing so that it improves his or her skills in the tools what a tech writer uses.

Technical Writing is booming in the current world. A technical writer has a lot of growth. Technical writers don’t need to have good communication, since the tech writer usually interacts with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to  get the documents completed, also probe the SMEs to get the appropriate information that is required for the development of the technical documents.

– Student, Black & White Tech Writing Solutions P Ltd

Original Content an advantage for SEO

“It’s a jungle out there!” is an apt description for the internet. In the recent years the internet has seen a hype in providing monetary help in many a ways to its users. Even a click provides money. The internet’s traffic has become chaotic.

A web site is usually used to promote or sell a company, product or service. Its content should have the gravity to change casual visitors to prospective clients. This can happen only when one’s website is first viewed by the viewer. This is where the term SEO enters. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is a technique used for increasing traffic to a particular site.

The search engines are text driven, they crawl the web looking at sites and getting an idea what each site is about. The crawler or spider indexes the visited web pages according to the content it finds and stores it in a database for easy retrieval.

When a visitor hits the search button, the search engine processes the request by comparing the given string with the indexed pages. The spider retrieves the most relevant pages by the help of an algorithm based on keywords density, links or metatags.

Original content will be indexed faster. A website should have unique and relevant content to satisfy its visitors as well as the search engine. The present generation of people relies upon the net for each and everything.  For a single request the search engine will produce millions of pages and when a visitor comes across the same content repeatedly he will feel frustrated. The search engine will therefore give a low rank for those pages.

Copying or plagiarism as it known to the internet community is a crime and those who commit it will be sued. Original content will also help in generating inbound quality links. Getting ranked or not, it all depends on the content.

Student – Black & White Tech Writing Solutions P Ltd

Technical Writing & its scope in India

Technical writing, in simple words, is a form of technical communication, where a unique style is used to relate technical ideas from a variety of different fields like computer software and hardware, finance, robotics, the aerospace industry, biotechnology. For example, this could mean telling a software programmer how to access a particular set of tools or as simple as guiding a consumer on the use of a house hold implement. In simple words, technical writing can be described as, “writing about complex technical information in a simple, clear and concise manner, which a target audience can understand”.

Technical writing has a long history, but it started becoming a discipline of its own from the early 20th century. This rise in importance can be mainly noticed with the advent of the World Wars, where a need for technical documentation was required in the fields of military, manufacturing and electronics.

The people, who design, create and maintain technical documentation, are known as technical writers. They possess skills in language, writing skills and solid research. A good technical writer may not be a subject matter expert (SME), but requires the expertise to interview SME’s, do additional research, understand the targeted audience, and create documentation that is accurate, complete, unambiguous and concise. The documentation can be produced in a variety of forms: printed, web-based or other electronic documentation, training materials, and industrial film scripts.

Technical documentation can be basically categorized into 3 categories:

1)      End User assistance (user manuals for cell phones, medical equipment, computer peripherals)

2)      Traditional technical documentation (research papers, maintenance guides)

3)      Marketing communications (catalogs, press releases, advertisements)

In India, technical writing is a growing industry, with more and more companies realizing the necessity for perfect documentation. As a developing country, with major international brands in computer software and other service based organizations, the demand for technical writers are at an all time high. With a highly qualified work force, both creative and knowledgeable in the advancements in technology, many MNC’s, both international and domestic, are opening up their literal doors to Indians. Companies like Cap Gemini, Bosch, Quest, etc are looking to Indians for a productive work force.

Aim:

“To change people, by changing the way they do things.”

Author: Student from Black & White Tech Writing Solutions (P) Ltd, Bangalore.

New Office Address

This is to inform you that Black & White is shifting base to a new state- of- the- art facility effective – September 30, 2011.

The new address would be:

Black & White Tech Writing Solutions (P) Ltd.
2nd Floor, No.723/A, ESI Hospital Main Road, 3rd Block Rajajinagar, Bangalore – 560 010
www.bwtechwriting.com  9986206222

Landmark: Above HDFC ATM / Near to Axis Bank ATM / Coffee Day/ Opp to ESI Bus Stop.

We are moving to a new location

We will have a new office address, we are moving to a bigger & a better facility shortly.

follow us on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/bwtechwriting for more updates

 

Technical writing course – Poster

Technical Writing Program

Black & White, being an end to end technical writing company, would want to bring out the importance of technical writing to the aspiring writers about the industry, the profession, and their prospective growth here.

Technical writing is a field of study that involves presenting data and information in a procedural form. It presents technical and complex information in simple and easy-to-use terms. Technical writing is about communicating particular information to a particular audience for a particular purpose. It enables users to perform tasks in a specific way. We believe that while presenting technical information in a most simple way, technical writers need to have in mind the needs of the audience they are provided the information for. Technical writing is basically writing complex information in easy and understandable terms; it involves the usage of grammar, editing, use of graphics, tables, and charts in presenting the information.

Technical writing as a field is fast gaining importance. People from diverse walks of life are increasing becoming aware of the importance of technical writing. We at Black & White are capitalizing on this fact and offering quality training and technical writing services to our clients. Technical writing provides good growth opportunities as well as being a lucrative profession. A technical writer creates documents such as online help, user manuals, brochures, white paper, system manuals, reports, etc. Technical writing is often used as a stepping stone to progress to other fields, such as project management and analysis. Along with good writing skills, technical writers should have good computer skills and an analytic reasoning way of approaching issues. Tech writing is a very demanding profession. It is not a repetitive way of working. It can be hardly be boring. People opting to work as tech writers need to be creative, and think of different ways to approach a particular subject. They need to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge. They need to be skilled in using word processor as well as desktop publishing tools. Forums such as STC and TWIN provide assistance to aspiring technical writers and people looking to break into this field. STC is the world’s largest organization that was established in 1953. It was indeed a pleasant experience for Black & White to be a part of the annual STC meet of 2011 as a sponsor. These forums help in networking, finding jobs, meeting established and knowledgeable technical writers, honing up your communication skills and learning new software, etc. Technical writers are needed in almost any industry. Any company needs technical writers to work as part of their team.

A technical writing course helps aspiring technical writers to gain the necessary skills and improve their communication skills, and also helps them in gaining new software skills, as well as the necessary grammar usage. We analyze the needs of the technical writing requirements in the market and have architected our training program in a way that would aid the prospective writers to easily equip themselves in the industry and service the needs of the companies in the market .Technical writing as a profession is quite difficult, but it definitely is very interesting in terms of a career. A technical writer enhances the technical skills of the target audience as well as knowledge.

The aspects of a technical writer are to:

  • Understand the needs of the target audience, whether it is expert or novice.
  • Use precise and concise terms.
  • Conduct research such as the internet, question SMEs, gather necessary info from books, etc.
  • Usage of visual tools such as graphics, charts, tables and able to support them by describing them in an effective way.
  • Write in a simple way rather than use complex terms or make assumptions by analyzing the audience this is aimed at.

Thus, technical writing acts as an interface between the technical writer’s ideas and the target audience. There are 3 different types of technical writing. These are:

  •  End-user documentation: basically, end-user documents aims at usage of technical items and consumer products such as cell phones, ipods, and refrigerators. This type of documentation helps the novice in usage of the particular product, which is provided by instructions given in a user manual. The technical writer should be able to use the product effectively, only then will he be able to explain the product usage. The writer should anticipate any questions or problems the user might have and be able to provide solutions. The writer need not be a technical expert to do this.
  • Conservative technical writing: This form of writing mostly consists of white paper, research documents, programmer guides, and engineering reports. The writer involved in this type of writing should have a technical background preferably. This may be a necessary requirement which adds importance to the document.
  • Marcom: In simpler terms, also known as marketing communications in the form of advertising, product promotion, and marketing. Examples which are brochures, press releases, advertisements, etc. It was primarily a print medium but has now evolved into web copy.
  • Other than these, technical writing is also used for government proposals and projects, medical companies, private companies, pharmaceutical firms, banks, educational concerns, etc.

Thus, technical writing is of far more importance in today’s society. It is slowly gaining recognition, though there is still an acute shortage of technical writers. Technical writing programs do change one’s outlook of working in this particular field as compared to other fields of work. It enhances a person’s skills so as to enable him to work efficiently in such a demanding profession.

Black & White Tech Writing Solutions (P) Ltd.,
www.bwtechwriting.com