RE: Future trends in technical writing?

Subject: RE: Future trends in technical writing?
From: "James Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 13:41:45 -0800

>Dave Till wrote:

>I was curious about future trends in technical writing employment.
>Recently, a career counsellor I was talking with suggested that the future
>of technical writing would likely be in sectors other than the IT sector.
>Do you agree with this? And, if you do, where do you see technical writers
>being employed a few years down the road?

Technical writers will always be needed, no matter how GUI-friendly software
becomes. Even if developers were to create rollover instructions within an
app, how will a user know how to install the app? And what about internal
specs? Assume a scenario where an initial developer creates internal specs
and leaves the company once the application goes live. That developer's
internal spec doc might be completely unintelligible to a developer that's
brought in to do maintenance.

As for sectors that will require tech writers in the future, that's like
predicting the stock market. Look what happened after the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act was passed in 2002. Suddenly, every company under the sun needed a tech
writer to make sure that all of their ducks were in a row.

The only thing that a tech writer can count on, like death and taxes, is
that technology will grow and change at a phenomenal rate. Companies will
survive or perish based on whether or not they can keep up with the
technology in their respective industry. And scalable documentation -
hmmm...that word doesn't seem to work - or living documentation will play a
huge part of a company's survival. End-users/clients/customers will easily
recognize if company's documentation is a selling point or a reason to look
elsewhere to have their needs met.


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Future trends in technical writing?: From: Dave Till

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