Useful skills for a technical writer

Develop your capabilities with these professional skills and tools.

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Be bold. Own what you do. This does not specifically have to be a techwriting skill, but in this field we often need to prove the importance of our work.
  • Be a team worker. You definitely need to communicate with others to get the information required to perform your job. Experts usually have strong personalities; you’ll need to find a path to their hearts and minds.
  • Be curious. Don’t hesitate to ask questions even if you think they are “stupid”. These questions may lead to unexpected and useful answers.
  • Be open to new technologies. The more you know, the more your marketability increases.

Tools and Environments:

  • Git or GUI for Git (such as SourceTree)
  • DITA and Markdown
  • Madcap Flare, Adobe Technical Communications Suite, or AuthorIt
  • HTML and CSS
  • Command line skills. CLI is very useful for working with Git (can be easier than GUI), when writing Linux or Unix-related documentation, and as a common language with developers and QA engineers.