In recent times, documentation has become an integral part of the IT industry. The technical documentation explains the product and are written by technical writers to ease the use of product and help in lowering down the support calls. The career scope in this field of technical- writing is huge as the requirement of write-ups, digital content is used everywhere for digital marketing, FAQs, support documents, product documents, and many more.
Here we are trying to understand all about technical writing and how technologies like DITA-XML has minimized technical writing efforts to make the work easier for you.
What is Technical Writing?
First, we need to understand the very parameters that make a document, a technical one. There are concepts in the field of IT that are complex to understand and even explain. For instance, when a software is made, it has to be explained to the user who will not be aware of the technicalities, as the engineers who made the software. To bridge this gap, a technical documentation is made, wherein the complex concept is explained to the user before they can use it. This document can include instructions, directions or may explain the product functionality. There are various formats or types of technical write- up. These are:
• User manuals
• Training Course Material
• Product Catalogues
• Knowledge Based Articles
• Policy Documents
• Process Flows
• Reference Guides
• White Papers etc.
The motive of technical writing remains to deliver the accurate and useful information to the end user. To make it efficient and reader friendly, the technical writers work in coordination with the engineers, software developers, product specialists, graphic designers, editors, content managers, instructional designers, analysts, and trainers.
What is the Career Scope in Technical Writing?
As a technical writer, you have a tremendous scope to work as a full-time employee as well as a freelancer. Projects for freelancing are paid after the submission of the work. There are organizations in IT sector, healthcare and medicine industry etc. The companies are ready to pay an attractive salary to those who are good with technical skills along with language and grammar. The job satisfaction is unquestionable and the requirement is huge. So all in all technical writing has immense possibilities in near future.
What Is DITA XML and Why You Need To Know About It
The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an open standard and an XML-based data model that is used for creating and publishing the topic based content. This standard system has gained a wide popularity in the field of technical documentation. So much so that the brands like Cisco, Oracle, Nokia, Cisco, HDS, IBM, and many more have adopted DITA system of structured authoring and publishing. DITA works using topics, maps, and various output formats. The basic content unit in DITA is the topic. The content is developed here. The maps basically decide that which topic will go to which stream of content. Afterward, the maps are processed to output formats to give the final content.
The DITA-XML model helps you to keep a consistency and makes content management more efficient and robust. If you include the DITA principles and practices in the technical documentation you will find significant time and cost saving. DITA practices encourage more collaborative environment and assure quality and flexibility in technical documentation. Here are the benefits of using DITA in pointers:
• Can be easily localize
• Enables writers to focus on individual task
• Promotes consistency
• Provides multiple outputs from one source
• Reduces Translation Cost
• DITA is flexible
• Formatting of the content is done separately
• One type of content can be reused for different users
With technologies like DITA XML, technical writing has broadened up its horizons and is definitely a rewarding career choice.