Technical writing survey: what should the profession be called?
Posted: 21 September 2009 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What do you call yourself? I’ve heard and seen a bunch of job titles, including:

*Technical writer
*Technical communicator
*Information architect
*Content developer
*Content strategist
*Instructional designer

Abelard Consulting, a technical writing consultancy in Australia, is running a survey to find out what we call ourselves. Participate here: http://www.abelard.com.au/survey.html. The survey closes on October 15, 2009.

And, of course, feel free to pipe in on this lovely forum.

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Eagranie Yuh
Immediate past president, STC CWC

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Posted: 21 September 2009 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I call myself a technical writer, though my current project includes some instructional design. However, having worked closely with the instructional designer on the project, my skill set is definitely closer to that of a technical writer.

I’ve also been known to call myself a technical and business writer, since “technical writer” seems to conjure up software manuals and make people’s eyes glaze over. I write a lot of proposals, and that seems to fall under the realm of business writing. I suppose it depends on who I’m talking to.

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Eagranie Yuh
Immediate past president, STC CWC

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Posted: 29 September 2009 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I usually avoid the question by describing my latest project in the most exciting terms I can invent. :-) If pressed, I’ll say I write user guides just because people can at least understand what that means, even if it bores them.

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Tracey Martinsen
Documentation & Process Mgmt Lead for Tantalus Systems (http://www.tantalus.com)
also Sole Proprietor (http://www.tmartinsen.ca)

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Posted: 12 March 2013 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I fluctuate between “technical writer” and “technical communicator”. I find that the former is a bit more widely understood by people not in our industry than the latter. On the same note, the latter is more encompassing of my many sub-skills (technical editing, web writing, etc.). Often though, I will say technical writer with niches in web content development, localization, and cross cultural communication. That way, I can say what I am and then mention also what I specifically tend to do, i.e. creative websites over engineering manuals, etc. Labels are tricky!

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