The technical writer’s 5 best friends

Technical writers need to expand their personal and professional friends because they need to. Building a strong personal and professional network 1. The product manager The product manager can be the technical writer’s best friend or worst enemy. Knowing a competent product manager can aid technical writers to better understand the product they are documenting. On the dark side,… Continue reading The technical writer’s 5 best friends

A lesson I learned as a contract technical writer

As a favor to an old friend,  I spoke to one of their friend’s kids who got laid off and was forced to go into contract IT work so they could keep paying the bills. Here is one question and answer that stuck out from our phone call: Them: What do you find true about… Continue reading A lesson I learned as a contract technical writer

Weird things I saw when I was a contract technical writer

I’ve been out of full-time contracting for almost two years and recently thought back to some of the stranger things I saw during the contract technical writer chapter of my life: A fellow contractor was posting nude pictures of his wife on Usenet from his client account. He was busted and walked offsite by armed… Continue reading Weird things I saw when I was a contract technical writer

Reflections on my technical writing career

I was once asked in a job interview: “Why do I stay a technical writer when it must be such a dull and boring profession?”  After the meeting when I was peeling rubber out of the parking lot, I took a few moments when I was decelerating to think about some of the more interesting… Continue reading Reflections on my technical writing career

Learning new software: A personal retrospective

When I was in college, I took an on-campus job in my college’s computer lab that I still consider to this day to be a very formative experience. The director of the computer lab helped me discover the technology chops that I still carry me to this day. He had a penchant for scouting student… Continue reading Learning new software: A personal retrospective

Simple guidelines for running technical document reviews remotely

With some clear expectations and a little planning upfront, running remote writing and document review projects can go smoothly.  Here are some lessons I learned when I was a freelancer about running remote writing and editing projects:

The 7 deadly sins of project leadership

Project team leadership is an even more important skill in today’s tight economic times making it even more of a shame when new, and even some experienced project leads fumble the ball in the name of their muddled agendas. While doing more with less is quite a mantra these days, there are seven deadly sins… Continue reading The 7 deadly sins of project leadership