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"How can I become a successful TECHNICAL WRITER?"

Jun 15, 2008 • general, wordpress

K. writes,

Dear Mr. Tom Johnson,

I am a Post Graduate in English. Recently I am working in a leading public house as writer. How can I become a successful TECHNICAL WRITER?

Please reply me as soon as possible.


Dear K,

The best thing you can do to develop your skills and ability with technical writing is to actually do some technical writing. Find an open source project, such as or Pligg, and write some documentation for it. Most open source projects have poor documentation, so they provide excellent opportunities.

When you finish your user guide or online help, ask someone on a technical writing listserv (like TECHWR-L) to review it. Someone will probably give you excellent feedback. Make a few updates, polish it up, and use it as the technical writing sample in your portfolio. Nothing gets you more familiar with technical writing than actually doing technical writing.


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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.