Being a technical writer is not an easy job. You have to write quality technical content for a product without developing it yourself. Basically for being a successful technical writer you need to have an excellent knowledge of the product you are writing about, technology knowledge and user knowledge.
- Product Knowledge: Having solid understanding of the product is necessary. You cannot to survive without thoroughly knowing the features and details of the product you are writing on. Get the required product information by reading the company wiki, sprint items, roadmaps and other online domains.
- Technology Knowledge: You must have at least a bit of technology knowledge to produce good quality technical content. You should be aware of the appropriate technical jargons that you can use in your writing.
- User Knowledge: You need to know about the mindset of those you are writing for. Your content should be technically informative and user-friendly at the same time. Read other forums and threads to know about your users, their general queries and feedbacks.
So if you have what it takes to be a technical content writer then you can log on to contentmart.com and looking for freelance writing jobs for technology. This website has a number of technical writing jobs suited for you.
Now the question is do you need technology knowledge for writing technical content? The answer to this question would be, to an extent yes. Although there are a few technical content writers who come from a humanities background it is better to have some technological knowledge to produce original material. However, the more important attributes of successful technical writers are excellent writing/communication skills and a deep curiosity to learn about the product and the target audience. The term ‘technical writer’ actually covers a broad range of job descriptions. Mainly there are two categories with different requirements.
- End-user Documents: If you are writing for general end-user documents then you don’t need to have a deep knowledge of technology. You just need to be a quick learner for writing end-user oriented documents like SAP, JDE etc. For example if you are writing the user manual for a medical billing system, you only need a basic technological knowledge.
- API Documents: Now you are writing API documents you have to have a sound knowledge of technology. Especially a deep understanding of computer programming is necessary for writing useful API documents. Although you do not need to be a full-time programmer you should have a reasonable understanding of programming languages such as Java, PHP application, C+ etc.
However, if you are smart enough you could just fake it by reusing bits and pieces of other technical contents. It can be called nothing but glorified editing. Having a deep knowledge of technology would surely give you an edge but it would go in vain if you fail to clearly communicate with your audience. So technological knowledge is a requirement for writing useful technical content but it is not the only one.