The DNA of a technical communicator

In Denmark we pride ourselves of having free and easy access to education. And yet, there is a large group of people in Denmark working with technical communication– and a good guess is that the majority of these people do not have a graduation paper to present the skills set they have acquired over the course of time. The introduction and training to work as a technical communicator has most likely been a good mix of on-the-job training, attending conferences, reading books, etc.

In our neck of the woods – meaning Europe – there is little focus on the formal education to become a technical communicator. There are some attempts here and there for long term courses (>six months). The German tcworld and some Swedish and Danish universities offer a variety of technical writing modules. Write2Users offers two technical writing courses – a 2-day fundamentals workshop and a 1-day advanced workshop.

In the States, the situation is quite the reverse. To us here in Europe it’s almost like looking through the display window to the candy store. Lots of universities offer technical communication education. Look at titles on the internet such as “Find the best technical writing schools, what to look for in a good technical writing school, top 3 technical writing schools.” And then some. In Denmark we have nothing of the sorts to show for.

Yeah – we eat our hearts out here in our neck of the woods.

But how can we make sure that we cover our bases and deliver quality documentation? What does it take to become a good technical communicator?

Come listen to Scott DeLoach at the MadWriters conference in November. Scott will talk about the skills set that he finds suitable. Take a look at the introduction to his keynote speech “DNA of a technical communicator.

Some years ago, I wrote an article under the same title. It explains how I got started within technical communication and how over the course of 2 years built my platform as a technical communicator. 2 years is a long time, and today we simply cannot afford the luxury of doing a 2 year on-the-job training. We need to hit the ground running.

Read the article and come listen to Scott’s keynote speech and feel inspired.

Article: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/claw.v1i2.7894 (download the PDF file)

Keynote speech summary DNA of a technical communicator

Mette NybergAuthor: Mette Nyberg
Technical writer
e-Boks A/S
LinkedIn: mette-nyberg