"What is Technical Writing" - Warren Clendining, Mount Royal University Continuing Education instructor (YouTube Video) - Does not exist, should be removed/updated.
SME = Subject Matter Expert.
Course Persona[edit source]
Susan Wright is a 32 year old mother of a 3 year old daughter. Now that her baby is getting bigger, she wants to do some part-time work.
Her husband Mike Wright, (they always call each other Mister and Missus "Right" as an inside joke), is a software developer. He's suggested that they could use some help writing user guides.
Susan studied journalism in college. She wrote for some local newspapers, and then got a teaching credential. She taught high school English for a few years. She has always loved reading.
She's not a "technical" person, but is familiar with Google and web browsing. She chats online, and likes using SMS. She's been watching YouTube for awhile now, and even uploaded a short video of her daughter and sent the link via email to all her friends and family.
In spite of all this, she's nervous. She's been out of the job market for a few years, and feels she's rusty. She's not sure if she'll get along with some of the weird guys at Mike's office. They tell a lot of mean jokes, it seems, and get along better with computers than with people. She doesn't like them to treat her like she's a dummy.
So she looks for information about technical writing. She considers some of the online courses, but they cost several hundred dollars and don't offer much of a guarantee. Besides, it's not like she's got an extra couple of hundred bucks laying around with nothing to do. The baby costs plenty, and with only Mike working it's been a strain.
She's always liked Wikipedia. So she goes there first when she searches Google for Technical Writer. She follows the link to the Wikiversity technical writing courses and reads the main page. (find the right ending sentence, conclusion, summary)
Some cleanup might be appropriate[edit source]
Many technical writers exist in fields other than software. One excellent example is engineering. Specifically water and waste water treatment plants in the U.S.A. Plenty of specification writing. Some women but by no mean mostly women writing the specifications. Some are called engineers while others are called planners, editors, etc. It is all technical writing in the text documents. Another example is telecommunications. Cables and microwave links. Plenty of text specification. Plenty of male writers. Some are called technical writers. Mirwin 02:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
IT-centrism seems to be a common problem in the technical writing resources I've read. Given the shrinking nature of the IT industry I'm afraid this approach might be misleading in terms of junior tech writers' job prospects.--Ironmilo2009 22:32, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Adding Videos[edit source]
I have put free technical writing instruction videos online. I've linked to some of my own videos. I will do more of this in the near future.
I have also linked to other people's technical writing training videos.
Be bold! If you have made a technical writing training video, please add yours too.
Administrators, bots, and nitpickers...please contact me (twfred) if there's some issues...happy to work with you.