In this post, I share some ways that help you stay current in the technical writing industry.
Take Advanced Courses
If you want to stay current in the field, it’s a good idea to take a course. Yeah, even experienced professionals take courses. Fortunately, there is much information on the Internet, so you can take an advanced course. Here are the good ones:
- Advanced Technical Writing by UW-Eau Claire.
This course at the advanced level will give you the expertise and confidence to market yourself as a technical writer or simply to tackle more advanced assignments at work. Building on the skills you have acquired in the previous technical writing courses, this course emphasizes audience analysis, document organization and design, supplements, visuals, and research techniques. The course consists of one proposal that will incorporate all stage of technical writing: planning, writing, designing, and revising.
- English 305: Advanced Technical Writing on Study.com.
English 305: Advanced Technical Writing has been evaluated and recommended for 3 semester hours and may be transferred to over 2,000 colleges and universities. The course’s short lessons and quizzes can be accessed at any time, and you can use the course to get ahead in a degree program.
Utilize Online Resources
However, the Internat is also full of free of charge information. Follow the blogs or social media accounts of industry experts, regularly check industry news sites and online forums, listen to podcasts to stay current on the latest trends. Here is what I follow to stay current:
You can find more here: Technical Writing Communities.
Speaking of podcasts, Cherryleah shared this helpful one: How do you keep on top of the news and trends in technical communication?
Attend Professional Events
Other technical writers also do want to improve their skills that’s why there are many conferences and meetups where technical writers share their experience. For example, Write the Docs is famous for their conferences that they organized. Here are the upcoming ones:
- Write the Docs Portland 2020, May 3–5, Portland, Oregon
- Write the Docs Prague 2020, September 13–15, Prague, Czech Republic
If you can’t visit them, the WTD team shares all the content on YouTube.
Invest in Continuing Education and Certification
If you’re an experienced technical writer, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue your education. Besides advanced courses, you can learn something new, for example, UX writing. UX writing is so special because of its context (software) and the environment in which it’s produced (technology companies). As it exists in the context of software, content should be concise, but at the same time, it should communicate a lot of meaning. Moreover, the content should be accessible to people with different abilities and also be easily translatable for users from other linguistic, geographical, and cultural environments.
Since UX writing demands clear and concise information, it will be a strong booster for your tech writing experience. There are many courses and books available, so you can start learning something new right now:
What resources help you stay current?