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The Best Technical Writers are Not Techie at All

The job of a technical writer is to translate complex information into words that a non-technical/non-scientific person can understand and use. Now at

Source: The Best Technical Writers are Not Techie at All

Thanks to Dave Gardner for finding this and posting it on LinkedIn.

This is an argument that I’ve made to prospective employers and recruiters time and time again.  Having a little technical knowledge helps, but ultimately it’s hard to find people who have the same super technical knowledge they require AND can write about technical things. I’ve often thought as technical writers almost like translators; we translate English into English. We make the complicated less complicated. We shouldn’t have to be former programmers/developers, post-doctoral scientists, or whatever else requires very specific knowledge to write. We just need to know how to write, to write well, and decipher the hard stuff.  As Dave Gardner, the person who originally posted this on his LinkedIn feed said in his own commentary, “Find a candidate who is a quick study — someone who can ramp up quickly in your technology and who can translate that technology into understandable content for your end-audience.”  I don’t think I could have phrased this better myself. (Thanks, Dave!)

What do you think? Include your comments below.



Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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