Most asked questions for writers in the software industry

FAQ on Technical Writers in the Software Industry

Many people who are interested in technical writing frequently ask me a lot of different questions, I have compiled a list of questions and answers to help address some of the most frequently asked questions.

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What tools do you use for technical writing

I am a firm believer that a writer can adapt to any tool as long as it doesn’t hinder them from writing and publishing. That being said, the software industry requires tools to be adaptive to the content that you’re writing for.

Oxygen — Oxygen XML is one of the best tools for structured content. It allows writers to use the DITA schema and other syntax to write and publish content.

Git — I will always preach about version control. Not only is version control important to save your work it is also important for customers to be able to go back and see what different versions looked like. I recommend using git for all writers.

What skills do I need to become a technical writer?

The most important skill in my opinion is the ability to be curious. Technical writing requires you to get curious about the content you are supporting. There are a lot of questions to ask and being curious enough to look for the right answers and more importantly the right questions can take you very far.

Do I need to learn programming?

You should know the basics of computer programming but it isn’t a requirement. If you can learn DITA, then you can learn enough to be successful in the software industry. I would recommend learning about APIs, HTML, and JavaScript. Knowing that can take you pretty far in your journey.

I would also recommend learning a structured syntax like LwDITA, markdown (to write code comments or to author in).

Where can I learn more?

I recommend joining a community or reading job descriptions to see what is needed right now.

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