Technical Writing Qualifications
A technical writer with experience but no formal training may lack good technical communication knowledge. That can affect the quality of your documentation – it’s easy to make the same errors over and over again if you don’t even understand why they are mistakes in the first place!
So what’s my background? What technical communication qualifications do I have?
I began my career way back in 1997, soon after graduating with a BA honours degree in Technical Communication. The course was one of the few technical writing courses available in the UK at the time (there are even less now), and it prepared me for life as a technical writer.
Since then I have worked in many industries, and developed my skills further with various training courses. As a fellow of the ISTC, I am committed to continual professional development (CPD).
Technical Communication Qualifications
Here are my technical communication awards and qualifications to date:
- BA Hons Technical Communication
- Fellow of the ISTC
- MadCap Flare Certified Advanced Developer
- Success Works Certified SEO Copywriter and VIP member
- Adobe Illustrator (2016)
- Adobe Captivate (2015)
- Confluence training course – remote learning (2013)
- DITA training course – Cherryleaf (2013)
- Madcap Flare (2012)
- Success Works SEO Copywriting (2011)
- Institute of Copywriters Training Course (2009)
- Adobe FrameMaker (way back in the early 2000s).
I’ve also learned how to use the following software (self-taught):
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- TechSmith SnagIt
- TechSmith Camtasia*
- Foundation Grid*
*I’m familiar with these, but wouldn’t class myself as an expert.
Do Qualifications Really Matter?
Ultimately, no – if someone’s good at their job, their work stands on its own merits. But with technical communication, there are a few things you should consider.
Lots of technical writers come into the profession as a second career or from an English degree. Often, they have no training in technical writing at all. That can cause issues, as there are some basic principles to technical writing that often get overlooked without proper training.
You also need to think about the learning curve with the technical writing tools you use. If someone has used them before, they’ll pick up your way of working quickly. But if the tool is new to them, and they haven’t used similar tools before, that learning curve could have a punishing incline.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many other technical authors. Projects with trained technical authors have always run more smoothly than those without.
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