Famous technical writers are not superstars. Paparazzi would hardly find them interesting. But we, the techcomm community, do actually find them extremely interesting and very important for the whole industry. Some tech writers are doing the job well, others — outstandingly. The latter are really pushing technical writing forward by creating useful resources, doing research, writing articles, setting up conferences… They help the industry evolve and prosper.
We would like to say a few words about the origin of technical writing, and then mention several names. These are the names of contemporary tech writers who will likely go down in the history of modern technical writing.
Short History Reference
If you think about it, technical writing dates back to the old times, long before the profession got its name. People had to create manuscripts to pass down their knowledge and explain how things work. Okay, but can you name at least one famous technical writer who lived, for example, in the era of Renaissance? Actually, you can, you just don’t know this yet.
Yes, Leonardo da Vinci is probably the most famous tech writer of all times. As you know, he was not just a painter, but a great inventor. A lot of his inventions were truly visionary. And, they were also revolutionary and unique, so he had no choice but to write ‘user manuals’ for them. This was a huge milestone for technical writing as a professional field. But, let’s return to the present.
Famous Contemporary Technical Writers
Ugur Akinchi is probably one of the most influential technical communicators nowadays. It is hard to believe that Ugur actually grew up in a family of a singer and a painter and became a technical writer. He mentions in different interviews that art is still playing an important role in his life, and he often takes a break from help authoring to spend some time doing something more creative.
We have recently written a post on the best courses, books, and resources for technical writers, and, of course, Ugur Akinchi is mentioned there! He is also a professor, he teaches at online courses dedicated to tech writing. And, judging by the audience comments, he is a good one. Ugur Akinchi has also written several books that are meant to help technical writers evolve as techcomm specialists. Check out his Amazon page.
Lisa Melonçon has been playing an important role in the techcomm community for quite a long time already. She is one of the most active and visible members of this community. She is an academic with a strong online presence. Her articles are debated over by the community as she raises many important questions in her work.
For example, she writes about the necessity to integrate technical communication into the English department, and theorizes on the place techcomm should occupy in the education system. This is a very important topic indeed.
Here is another name for you. Carlos Evia is known as a ‘techie academic’. With a master’s degree in computing, he is always concerned about a more technical side to things. Carlos is known for his studies, e.g. the study of a lightweight version of DITA. These studies are meant to simplify documentation authoring processes.
It is very important to have such people in technical writing because of their background and willingness to get deeper into complicated concepts like DITA to make lives of all technical writers easier.
In this post, we have covered only a short list of people who made (or keep making) technical communication the way it is today — a growing and evolving industry. We believe that anyone who is passionate about what they are doing can make a breakthrough and achieve many things in their career and maybe even push the whole industry to a brand new level, why not? The world is your oyster!
Good luck with your technical writing career!
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