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Language or Tool – Choosing the First Flying Destination as a Technical Communicator

By Dr. Anu Singh

The English Language has found a new meaning in India – it has become a people’s connecter. Millennials are effectively using it to make a career out of it. However, its accuracy and technicalities are often the most ignored aspects.

Originating from the English Language, the concept of Creative Writing and Technical Writing is often interchanged if not replaced. Creative Writing is about “being human” and Technical Writing is about “human being”. I would personally like to call Technical Writing a professional writing about IT solutions and product applications.

A question that comes to aspirants who want to make a career in Technical Writing is that what it takes to be a Technical Writer, and if I have to groom myself, what is step one? My personal experiences have not been very technical with new bees in the Technical Writing discipline. They have educated me on their blogs that they maintain, the poems they write, storybooks that they are writing, and so on. Are not these hobbies?

Another important aspect in Technical Writing is documentation tools including Help Authoring Tools (HAT) as help files are the staple product of most of the organizations. The ever-evolving technology has created a Tsunami of tools and marketing strategies are getting attention from an aspiring Technical Writer. However, do remember, as a naïve in this discipline, you may get lost in the middle of tool pool and each organization, if they are using a documentation tool, is different from the other.

So the big question is where to start? To keep it simple, if Technical Writing is a surgery than the English Language is the instrument. You do not have to be a wordsmith, but you certainly have to be a technical savvy to understand the technicalities of language and writing. Language is a competency and tool is a skill, and skills can be acquired.

As a beginner, build your competencies first and learn what to do with data using the English Language to transform it into a piece of information. Remember that Language is a science and it has its own rules and exceptions.

Dr. Anu Singh is a Technical Writing enthusiast who considers herself a work in-progress towards perfection. She is a Ph.D. in English and loves coding information in words for users. She is currently working as a Manager with Fiserv. You can reach her at anujyotsna@gmail.com.

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