Confessions of a dyslexic technical writer, Part 2

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I wrote a post entitled Confessions of a dyslexic technical writer about how I use my dyslexia as an advantage as a writer. The post still draws some feedback from other adult dyslexics.

Here are some other confessions I’d add to the post if I wrote it today:

Continue reading “Confessions of a dyslexic technical writer, Part 2”

Is there a thought leadership double standard for writers?

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I work in an industry that’s hungry to have their VPs, directors, and senior technical staff to become thought leaders. Informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality and know and show how to replicate their success. For their writers not so much…

Continue reading “Is there a thought leadership double standard for writers?”

The technical writer’s 5 best friends

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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, when faced with incompetent product management, a technical writer with their grounding in writing product requirements and functional specifications can help be a voice of reason during the triage of ambiguous or plain technically unfeasible requirements.
2. The senior DBA/database architect
The whole world and many of today’s leading-edge web applications run on databases making a senior DBA and database architect a valuable friend indeed.
3, The storage area network engineer
Let’s face it all the business world’s data (and secrets) live on one SAN or another.
4, The financial controller
It never hurts to know the person who handles the money and processes the checks. This is true for employees not just freelancers and independent contractors.
5. The solution architect
Solution architects and network architects can be valuable friends of the technical writer because of their responsibilities over the design of solutions.
Who are your five best friends as a technical writer?

 

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A lesson I learned as a contract technical writer

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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 contracting?

Me: The very people who will criticize you for the tiniest mistake will be the same people who take credit for your successes and good ideas after your contract gig ends.

Unfortunately, depending on the organization, it happens to full-time employees too.