Technical writing is a great profession for people who like to understand and explain how things work. While a lot of technical writing is focused on computers and software, technical writing includes financial, medical, pharmaceutical, tool crafting, and many other fields.
The craft of technical writing is simply to explain technical concepts in a manner appropriate to the intended audience. For example, a technical writer may have to write a programmer’s guide for a 3D software program and also write the user guide for the novice. He or she may have to write standard operating procedures for clinical trial data entry or write a product spec sheet for a piece of equipment. The key is to understand the concepts and to use the appropriate language for your intended audience.
A technical writer also needs to explain both the process and the procedure. Process documentation explains how something works, for example, how a specific module in a home banking software program works. It may explain how the “check entry” module classifies checks written by category and explain other features.
The procedure documentation explains the steps needed to enter a check, select the category, and so on. The process documentation tells you what the software or piece of equipment can do; the procedure documentation explains how to do something.
People are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners. Auditory listeners learn by reading or listening. Visual learners learn by watching – images, diagrams, videos, etc. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing, hands-on learners. A good technical writer writes for all three learners whenever possible. The documentation, in addition to text (great for auditory learners), include images, illustrations, diagrams, links to videos for the visual learners, and procedure documentation for kinesthetic learners.