Tech Comm Trends

Providing value as a generalist in a sea of specialists

By Tom Johnson / @tomjohnson

Slides available at

Why trends intrigue us

Impact of UX and need for docs

BLS data: TW and SD job growth

Growth projections compared

Common questions and objections

Evolution of roles ... towards what?

Trends trajectories

Barometer for trends: job ads

Constant theme: tech familiarity

... should know [X] tech already

Devs writing for devs -- a brand

Hiring mgrs want the full-stack TW

In addition to creating API documentation and other technical content, they wanted me to put together the documentation portal (to resemble Twilio's), write white papers, and work on marketing collateral. — person interviewing for TW job

Tech depth vs. writing depth in hiring

Why? tech getting more complex?

Why docs fail for developers

Expertise required to improve docs

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest problems with API documentation were also the ones requiring the most technical expertise to solve. Completing, clarifying, and correcting documentation require deep, authoritative knowledge of the API’s implementation. This makes accomplishing these tasks difficult for non-developers or recent contributors to a project. — Martin Robillard and Gias Uddin

'Technical Technical' writer wins job

How to learn technology

Learning creates a plastic brain

Disconnect between prob & solution

CX-focused writer wins real goal

CX awareness begins with feedback

Be both a generalist and specialist

That is where the heart of technical communication lies, in the intersection of rhetorical acuity and technical acuity. The great debate in technical communication is whether that intersection can be achieved by a writer and an engineer working together, each bringing half of the equation, or whether it has to be by one person possessing both acuities. I tend to be in the latter camp. — Mark Baker

More reading

Principle 11: Be both a generalist and specialist at the same time.

Shortlink: /simplifying-complexity/both-a-generalist-and-specialist-at-same-time.html

( > Simplifying Complexity > Principle 11)

Agree or Disagree?

The end