technical writer

(redirected from Tech writer)

technical writer

The person responsible for writing hardware and software documentation, online help, technical definitions and product descriptions. Quite often, the technical writer is given the task of documenting an application at the last minute, allowing very little time for a thorough understanding of all the options, let alone time for others to read and edit the material before it is published.

A Necessary Evil
Although technical writing is a skill that takes years to learn, and while some companies do appreciate it, most do not. Technical writers are often given less attention than other professionals in the field. As a result, almost all the documentation we read could be better, and much of it is downright indecipherable. Is it any wonder that even technical people avoid reading manuals at all costs (see RTFM)?

A Note from the Author

Describing technical material is as difficult a job as some of the most complex programming. I know because I have been doing both for more than 50 years. However, bad programming is often invisible. As long as the program seems to work, nobody has any idea how many resources are being wasted behind the scenes. Without having programming experience and viewing the source code, no one can know that the app will take five times longer to modify than it should because of its poor design.

But, poor writing is very visible... up front... staring you in the face. And, "you" are an expert in judging its quality. If well written, the most complicated material can be brought down to bite-sized chunks that are understandable.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Celebrated futurist and tech writer Nicklas Bergman leads the lineup of influential speakers and industry experts in this year's Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) that will be held at the Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu from September 3 to 6.
Taking center stage at the conference is celebrated futurist and tech writer Nicklas Bergman, who will discuss topics, such as tech disruption, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, investments, and leadership in the digital era.
As a perspicacious tech writer observed in a particularly well-constructed narrative, FOMO described the pang of envy, wave of anxiety, ocean of self-doubt and gnawing irritation we feel when we realise other people are having fun and we're not.
TECH writer Dom Peppiatt - who needs an ecient internet signal in order to do his job - puts BT's Complete Wi-Fi to the test..
TECH writer Dom Peppiatt - who needs an efficient internet signal in order to do his job - puts BT's Complete Wi-Fi to the test..
New York Times tech writer Kevin Roose reached out to a spokesperson for the Franklin County, Ohio, board of elections, ( who confirmed  the video wasn't evidence of voter suppression in the state but just a faulty voting machine.
Dan Lyons, author of "Disrupted, My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble," lost his position as a long-standing tech writer for Newsweek.
The piece, by tech writer James Bridle, was published on the heels of a report from the New York Times that described disquieting problems with the popular YouTube Kids app.
A few years ago, tech writer Nicholas Carr wrote that the internet doesn't really fit into McLuhan's hot and cool dichotomy.
One tech writer shares the following sign as observed in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology robotics lab: "Be nice to the robots, for they will be in charge one day."