Miscellaneous technical-writing

Published on September 5th, 2016 | by Guest


Importance of Technical Writing in Information Technology

Don’t think technical writing is critical to your IT (Information Technology) career? Think again. Effective written communication makes all sorts of things easier on everyone involved and much more efficient. Here are some things excellent technical writing skills can do for you.

  1. Clearer code comments, file headers, and function headers. If you come back to a project after a break, or if you need someone else’s help, it’ll be less painful to understand what’s going on in your code.
  2. Better configuration documentation. The clear documentation of whatever settings and operation modes selected will ensure the software will function the same no matter how many times it needs to be re-installed. The documentation will also help save a lot of pain during upgrades as many configuration options will be the same or similar to those in the previous version.
  3. Have a great idea for a new project? Management will be more likely to adopt your pitch if it’s written with better than average technical writing skills. Grant proposals, internal research and development efforts, and more all require exceptional technical writing skills.
  4. Excellent technical writing skills also coincide heavily with high-quality documentation of customer support interactions. The better you document customer support exchanges with clear and understandable notes the more likely you are to keep your job and a good reputation if a situation goes south in a manner beyond your control.
  5. Competent technical writers are significantly more likely to be promoted. Many IT professionals must write and submit their promotion justifications. The larger your organization, the more removed the decision makers are from direct interaction with employees. You won’t get promoted in many companies if you can’t write a clear and convincing argument for why you’re the most eligible and best candidate.

Technical writing skills will serve you well in any IT career. The exact impact varies widely from job to job, but all IT jobs benefit from excellent written communication skills. Whether you write code, configure existing software, or are pitching a new project technical writing is a must have. If you don’t know it, learn it.

There’s an often overlooked benefit of being an excellent technical writer. It makes you a better presenter. Setting speaking skills aside, competent technical writers know how to order their thoughts on paper in such a way to ensure the reader understands the concepts communicated. Used as preparation for a presentation this skill becomes invaluable. Many IT professionals become disorganized and appear to have disjointed and jumbled thoughts when presenting. Drafting an outline of your presentation ahead of time will guarantee you’ll go through your information in an organized and logical manner.

Technical writing is one of the most important secondary skills you’ll need in your IT career. No matter how talented you are at coding, configuring, or making a verbal pitch, you’ll need to back it up in paper writing to be successful. Become an excellent technical writer and in addition to the above benefits, I can guarantee you won’t regret it.

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