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
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.