Bad Reviews

In the dim distant past – and unfortunately there are pictures to prove it – I dabbled in amateur drama, and I got my share of bad reviews: people who criticised my performance, and I’m sure I deserved nothing less. But everyone who works in tech comm is familiar with a different kind of “bad review” – the review of a technical document that does nothing to move you closer to being ready for publication, and may even move you further away from that goal. Continue reading

Posted in editing, technical communication | 1 Comment

How responsible is a technical writer?

There’s a well-known humorous office sign that I’ve seen in many places which reads “I have a very responsible job: if anything goes wrong, I’m responsible!” However there have been a couple of message threads recently on the ISTC Discussion list which have got me thinking about exactly what a technical writer should be taking responsibility for. Continue reading

Posted in technical communication | 1 Comment

What sort of training do TechComm professionals need?

Formal training for technical communicators in the UK is hard to find. It has not yet completely disappeared, but it is, in my opinion, an endangered species. If we allow it to become extinct what is the future for our profession? Perhaps I am being pessimistic, but I am going to be devoting a lot of time to this subject in the coming months. Continue reading

Posted in tech writing education, technical communication, training | 4 Comments

The “training or documentation?” question, again

I’ve just read an article on EE Times (a website for the electronics industry community) contributed by site member Joe Davis. Called Is It Training or Documentation? Does It Matter? the article highlights several important issues around documentation and training. Continue reading

Posted in technical communication, training | 3 Comments