IT Audits: a Technical Authoring view
Techwriting
by writer201
2d ago
IT Audits IT Audits: A technical author’s view from the front line. I have worked on several projects, including an audit of a company’s IT ahead of a migration from one data centre to another. In three cases, no documentation existed; in the fourth, documentation was scattered around in various places. Data Centre migrations An IT audit focusing on a data centre migration project aims to ensure the process is well-planned and executed to minimise risks, guarantee operations and data integrity continuity, and adhere to relevant standards and regulations. This article introduces the data centre ..read more
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Tales from the Desk of a Technical Author
Techwriting
by writer201
1w ago
In the world of technology, unsung heroes lurk in the shadows, wielding their pens (or keyboards) to document the wonders of code, hardware, and software. In my case, training materials, editorial and consulting. Yes, we’re talking about technical authors – the wizards of words, the maestros of manuals, and the unsung champions of clarity in a sea of tech jargon. Contrary to popular belief, technical authors have a fun job that goes beyond just following rules. So, buckle up and prepare to embark on a journey into the quirky world of technical authorship! First, let’s debunk the myth that tech ..read more
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Technical Author; learn how to project manage documentation projects
Techwriting
by Michael Clark
1M ago
Technical authors should prioritise learning how to plan their documentation projects. Project managers underestimate the complexity of such projects, leading to negative consequences for their success. Consulting professionals for advice is crucial to avoid setting unrealistic timelines and targets. Documenting anything takes longer than project managers realise. They often prioritise other aspects of the project over documentation, leading to inadequate planning for documentation efforts. Project managers must plan and execute documentation projects more efficiently to achieve goals. Clear c ..read more
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Shared Drives
Techwriting
by writer201
7M ago
It is not unusual to find companies still use Shared Drives to store their documentation. As many Technical Writers will point out, the problem with shared drives is that they are neither secure nor searchable. What is the problem with shared drives? The folder structure has too many levels meaning documents are difficult to find Information gaps exist as users keep copies of documentation locally and not on the shared drive. There is no formal ownership of the documents. The title and subject of the Document do not accurately reflect the content. Admin has not set up Document versi ..read more
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What’s the difference?
Techwriting
by writer201
7M ago
How many technical writers like me receive calls from agencies trying to source a content writer? It is not uncommon as many writing jobs these days appear under the banner of Content Writer. If you want to choose a suitable writer, read on. One day, I had to explain the difference between our two titles—comparing my technical authoring skill set to that of a content writer. Would you know the differences between a content writer and a technical author? If you get it wrong, it will be a costly mistake. So, what do you know about the following job titles? Technical writer Documentation manager ..read more
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From Contract to Permanent
Techwriting
by Michael Clark
1y ago
In 2004, I accepted a six-month contract with BT while staring a third redundancy in the face. A former colleague advised me that moving into contracting would become a long-term career choice, and returning to a permanent role would be difficult. So, after 18 years, how did I go from contract to permanent? BT became my first contract in London for six months, and later BT Martlesham, Ipswich, T-Mobile (now EE), NTTE, and my ex-colleague, was right. Before I knew it, five years had gone by, my mobile was hot, with calls, and I couldn’t see a way back. In the back of my mind, I still clung to t ..read more
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The Cost of Process Documentation
Techwriting
by writer201
2y ago
I wonder how many technical writers like me receive calls from agencies trying to source a content writer? It is not uncommon. Many writing jobs these days appear under the banner of ‘Content Writer’. If you want to choose the right writer, read on. One day, I had to explain the difference between our two titles. A comparison of my technical authoring skill-set to that of a content writer. If you were asked, or you were seeking a writer—do you know the difference? If you get it wrong it will be a costly mistake. So, what do you know about the following job titles? Technical writer Documentati ..read more
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Give us a break
Techwriting
by Michael Clark
2y ago
Give us a break. We need it. I write with authority and experience with over 25 years of experience as a technical author. My enthusiasm for delivering clearly defined documentation/content strategy has never diminished. Yet, two common issues remain for which I have no answer: management expects a quick return on their budget, and meeting people who think our role is a waste of time. Our role is vital, and without us, standards of written and oral communications will forever diminish. Like many technical writers, I have various skills which overlap into different roles. I may operate under ..read more
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Required Skills for Technical Writers
Techwriting
by writer201
2y ago
If you google the required skills for technical writers, I can guarantee you will see many suggestions. As a profession, we are flexible, adaptable and will turn our hand to any situation. We are also considered being resourceful and can achieve far more than people expect. The required skills for technical writers However, as a technical writer, I have my take on the required skills 1. keep a sense of humour 2. don’t allow SMEs to talk over your head 3. stay flexible 4. be courteous even in the face of rudeness 5. be a diplomat  .  .  . even in the face of ingratitude, 6 ..read more
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Technical Authors what we are and what we are not
Techwriting
by writer201
2y ago
Whatever your view of a Technical Author, do not be fooled by that title. We are much more than people realise, and we can help in ways you never thought possible. To answer many a question: what we are and what we are not. If you need to know, please read on.  What I or WE are NOT Software developer.  If I knew BASIC, C/C++, Java, you know where I’m going, I would be earning far more as a developer.    Project Manager I will be careful here. I am not a project manager certified through Prince2, Agile Scrum, etc. My PM skills are relevant to technical documentation, whereby ..read more
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