What technical writing can do

What technical writing can do


Curious about what a technical writer can do for you?

Here are twenty-five things you might find a technical writer doing in their job on any given day:

  1. Interviewing a subject matter expert to learn more about what they are writing about.

    This might be a product manager, project lead, developer, customer, salesperson, developer advocate, end user, nearly anyone who might touch or use what we are a writing about.

  2. Combing through code to find just what a particular variable or box is used for.

  3. Installing or building the product so we can figure out how to talk about it.

  4. Editing user interface text, or writing it ourselves.

  5. Organizing bits of information scattered around the company to make it searchable, findable, and usable by others.

  6. Finding all of the bits of information that need to be organized.

  7. Submitting bug reports or issues about problems we find when testing out the product.

  8. Writing use cases of how the product might be used.

  9. Helping the human resources department write out a standard operating procedure.

  10. Drafting a brand guideline for use across the company to protect our work and investments.

  11. Crafting step-by-step instructions on how to do $problem-we-solve.

  12. Taking screenshots and annotating them.

  13. Writing scripts for video recordings of how-to shorts.

  14. Recording videos of how-to shorts, then editing them.

  15. Researching best practices for presenting knowledge to the people who need to know about us.

  16. Reviewing existing knowledge articles and documentation pages for needed updates.

  17. Helping a product manager break down all the things that need to happen into individual steps.

  18. Product managing, because we tend to know the most about how all of the things work together anyway.

  19. Brainstorming a four-week lunch-and-learn session for employees to learn more about how all the products work together.

  20. Advocating for the end user and their need to have documentation on how to do the things with our problem solving solution.

  21. Editing the web site for the inevitable typos. (There’s always another edit. Let me know what you find in this page.)

  22. Attending product planning meetings so we know what we will need to be writing about next.

  23. Presenting in product planning meetings because we are full of ideas of what great things we could do next.

  24. Curating a style guide so that our voice remains consistent, especially as the tech writing team expands. (You are hiring more tech writers, right?)

  25. Deflecting support tickets and customer queries by providing best-in-class knowledge and documentation that’s easy to read, informative, clear, concise, and thorough.