Thursday, August 1, 2013

Importance of technical writing for engineers

Technical writing for engineers
No one can deny the importance of technical writing for engineering professionals. Technical writing, irrespective of what engineering discipline you chose to adopt as a career to pursue, acts as a crucial part. Technical writers who are also known as communicators or information developers are formed via a strong blend of technical background and writing abilities. From a junior level to a well qualified executive post, the skills of technical writing come as an integral function in the working profession of an engineer.

A very common myth which prevails in our society and acts as a barrier to those who intend to indulge in technical writing profession is that fact that the realm is just meant for those who are poor in programming skills or only such people go for it who lack in effective problem solving. What also hinders the growth and trend of an engineer interested in this profession is that it is a common man’s believe that engineers who wish to be technical writers are degraded in the society and possess a low pay scale compared to the field or development engineers. However, either of the claims holds no degree of truth whatsoever and such claims often tend to be full of flaw.

The fact of the matter is that no matter what engineering degree you intend to do, it does involve a certain level of knowledge regarding technical writing. It is wrong to interpret that if a person has done Computer Software Engineering, he will be liable to code the programs or conduct its specified tests to ensure its compliance only or a Mechanical Engineering would have his work limited to the use of Machines or thermodynamics, rather extensive writing of technical nature is always inculcated in the process. According to statistics, around 20 to 30 percent of an engineer’s time is served to writing purposes in one way or the other. At times he is supposed to narrate writing specifications, documentation, technical reports, feasibility reports, grant approvals so on and forth. Reputed companies who want their resources to be well versed with every single department they work on and a thorough professional, chose to give their employee a cross functional exposure of the work in a round robin fashion while includes the work of technical writing to a great extent.

A lot of this comes from reading technical papers and journals which helps an engineer in developing a sense of technical writing and assists in showing the organizations a positive correlation between writing skills and the amount of time that an engineer spends reading the technical matter. Hence, reading and then writing critiques hold the key to a good technical writing ability.

Therefore, to ensure that the students learn to read closely rather than just scampering through the texts, course instructors are required to make their students write a rhetorical critique of the technical work focusing a certain domain of engineering. The soon they develop this awareness of distinguishing between the good and poor content, the earlier will they be able to reproduce quality content reflecting clearly the work assigned in a galvanized manner.

I hope this article will help many engineering students in learning the importance of technical writing for engineers. Because I feel many junior year students feel don’t take this subject very seriously. Your comments are a constant source of encouragement for me to write more.

3 comments:

  1. There is a friend of me who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. You will be shocked to learn that he is doing a great job as a "technical writer" in some foreign company. That's just an example of how technical writing skills can help you in future.

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  2. That's exactly true about technical writing. There are many engineers who work as professional technical writers in companies. So this explains the importance of technical writing skills for engineers.

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  3. This is very true! Some engineering firms don't even hire full time technical writers because they expect the engineers to write their own technical reports or contribute to larger group/team reports. The skill is critical if for no other reason than to efficiently communicate your thoughts and ideas.

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