“Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.”
John W. Gardner
Let us remember why our career choice of technical writing it’s so great by briefly surveying how technical writers contributed to the world’s education, technology and scientific development. Due to our ability to transform complex technical ideas into orderly and easy-to-understand information we have been key contributors to the development of our modern society.
Technical writers often work with engineers, scientists, computer specialists, and software developers to manage the flow of information among project workgroups during development and testing. They also may work with product liability specialists and customer service or call center managers to improve the quality of product support and end-user assistance.
During the World War II hundreds of Technical Writers took an active role. It became a genuine profession; especially as war-time technologies were translated into peacetime use. After the war, General Electric, General Motors, and Westinghouse all created technical writing departments within their organizations.
The electronic revolution goods; both commercial- and consumer-oriented create the need for documentation on their use, installation, maintenance and integration. This need opened up several new genres of technical communication: user manuals, quick reference guides, hardware installation manuals, and cheat sheets, to name a few.
On 1949 Joseph D. Chapline became the first technical writer of computer documentation.He wrote a user’s manual for the BINAC computer and in1952 he documented the UNIVAC computer, using examples to document its functions.
In 1975 the U.S. Government required all product warranties to be stated clearly and unambiguously and a year later the Modern Language Association (MLA) approved a panel on technical writing at its annual conference.
Technical writing supports the ISO 9000 efforts by being a key contributor regarding certification requirements. ISO 9000 are a series of quality system standards that depended upon high quality written communication.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 give an opportunity to Technical Writers to demonstrates their abilities on how to documenting policies, procedures, and internal controls.
Could please share with us more contributions of technical writers?