When you need a technical author to come in and get working straight away, it pays to hire someone who knows their craft. Like me. What do I bring to the table? How about a degree in Technical Communication, 18 years’ experience in software and hardware documentation, and a passion for learning new practices? Sounds like what you need, right? Then read on to see how this experienced technical author can help make your documentation project a success.
Technical Communication Qualifications
Many moons ago, Coventry University offered a Technical Communications degree course. Luckily, I was able to get on the course and graduate before its untimely demise.
The BA Hons Technical Communication course provided me with the foundation to build a successful technical writing career. I learned about communication theory, the psychology of communication, technical writing issues and techniques, and various technical skills. This knowledge is key to everything I do as it is what allows me to understand end-users’ needs and create content that is pitched at the right level.
For more details, see Technical Author Qualifications
Technical Author Experience
I’ve been a technical author for my entire working life (over 17 years). During that time, I have worked in software teams and hardware teams both as an employee and as a freelancer/contractor.I’ve worked for large multi-national companies and small businesses, and have created online help, user manuals, training material, marketing material, training documents and processes. So I definitely fall into the category of “experienced technical author”. But importantly, I’m trained in the technical communication discipline too. Experience alone does not make an effective technical writer – without an understanding of best practices, a writer can make the same mistakes over and over for years. If you have an experienced technical author but your customers complain about poor quality documentation, could it be that they lack technical communication knowledge? Think about it.
For more details on my background, see Experience.
Software and Standards
I’ve worked with/using:
- MadCap Flare
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe FrameMaker
- Oxygen XML Author
- Adobe DreamWeaver
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Publisher
- PhotoShop Elements
- PaintShop Pro.
I am also in the process of learning how to use Atlassian Confluence.
I’m comfortable with HTML, can get by in CSS, and have recently completed Cherryleaf’s DITA training course. I am very keen to use DITA in a professional capacity, so if you have a DITA project, I’d love to hear from you.
For more details, see Software.