State of the Technical Writing Field

Subject: State of the Technical Writing Field
From: "Chantel Brathwaite" <brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 11:46:06 -0500

I've been a technical writer for close to 15 years now. While I've mainly
written, I've also taken detours and have performed web development,
requirements management, proposal writing, GUI design, graphics design,
marketing, and multimedia developer functions. Over the years, I've noticed
many changes from the introduction of new software and technological
concepts to differences in the way we document information and communicate
with the end user. The field has spawned many new specialties. But in many
ways, I feel that the field has contracted as well. To be honest, there are
times when this field seems as if it is dying - but my gut feeling is that
what I'm actually seeing is more of a reflection of shifts in the economy,
which has deeply impacted this and other fields. I can say for certain that
the technical writing landscape is much different than it was at the
beginning of this decade (but can't we say that for just about every

That being said, how do you see current technical writing field in relation
to how it was when you first started technical writing? (Even if you've
only started recently, feel free to comment.)

What trends are you noticing? Are there trends that you thought would
continue but that stalled?

And finally, what do you see as the future of the field?

Chantel Brathwaite
Cole Engineering
Technical Writer


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