Looking for a change of pace once you’re done writing code? Interested in transitioning into a more creative role? You might consider pursuing a career in computer science if you think that writing is something you could master. The role of a technical writer is vast, and it involves everything from documenting software specifications for engineers, to producing videos to explain complex processes. In this article, we’ll discuss what kind of writing does a person with a
computer science job have to do, how to get the job, and what it’s like to work in this field.
The Rise In Popularity
One trend that’s become prominent in recent years is that more and more people are moving into roles as technical writers and software testers. One theory as to why this is the case, is that these roles tend to be in demand because so many people have expertise in these areas. According to an article from Dice.com, the job prospects for a technical writer are excellent, with over 160,000 jobs available in America alone.
The outlook for a software tester is also positive, with an estimated 107,000 jobs available in the United States. This makes these fields very attractive for individuals who are looking to change careers.
The Larger The Better
One of the things technical writers and software testers have in common is that the jobs they do tend to be larger and more complex projects. If you’re looking for a more creative outlet after you finish programming, a career in technical writing might be a great fit for you. Another option is to focus on software testing, where you can use your acquired skills to hunt down weaknesses in new products.
From Documentation To Creative Writing
Depending on the type of work you do, you might be required to produce documentation. This could include everything from creating process flowcharts for engineers, to using specialized software to create detailed project plans. While you might not need to be a skilled writer to do this type of work, documenting software requirements and creating software prototypes are great ways to improve your writing skills. You may be asked to explain concepts in simple language as well as provide examples of how the technology you’re describing would work in practice.
Once you’ve mastered the art of writing documentation, you might consider moving into the world of creative writing. If you’ve got a good eye for detail and can follow instructions, you can use your writing skills to craft compelling stories about software, hardware, and the industry as a whole. As with any job, you’ll need to learn to balance your creative impulses with the practical demands of your job. And if you want to continue evolving as a writer, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and try out new things.
The Importance Of English
Even if you’re not a professional writer, it’s important to have a working knowledge of English. This is especially important if you want to pursue a career in tech, as English is often considered to be the global language. In fact, English is the standard language of documentation and project plans, and if you don’t know how to write in English, you’ll find it very difficult to succeed in this field. One of the reasons why English is so important is that the projects you’ll be working on are most often, if not always, done using computer software. While this software might have been designed and tested in English, the person(s) using it might not be familiar with the language. This kind of scenario is very common, and that’s why everyone using computers needs to know how to write in English.
The Profession Is Vast
One of the things that makes a job as a technical writer so appealing is that the profession is very broad. As we’ve established, many different kinds of jobs exist, and those with a creative bent will find there’s plenty of room for them. Not only that, but tech writers are also usually very adaptable people. This means they can take on new challenges and quickly learn new things. This is a great quality to have in a job, especially in today’s world, where change is constant and evolving.
Becoming A Certified Technical Writer
To become a certified technical writer, you’ll need to pass a test that’s designed to evaluate your knowledge of writing for software and documentation. While it’s not essential that you go through this process in order to be a technical writer, it does offer you a distinct advantage. If you want to work in this field and don’t have the time to commit to formal education, this might be the next best thing.
A Specialized Niche
If you’re looking for a job in tech and want to work in a specialized niche, you might consider studying computer science or software engineering. In a nutshell, these are the two fields that you’ll need to specialize in in order to become a technical writer. If you want to write for software, you might want to consider studying software engineering. If you want to focus on documentation, you’ll need to study computer science. If you’re applying for a job in the United States, you’ll have to have a university degree in order to be considered for employment. In certain circumstances, you might be able to get the job without a degree, but it’s certainly not going to be easy. Just make sure you have the required qualifications.
The specialized job titles that exist within these two fields are relatively few in comparison to the number of jobs that exist within tech as a whole. This is why if you choose to work in tech, but don’t want to become a specialized writer in software or documentation, there are plenty of other options available to you. For example, you could become a technical editor, copywriter, or project manager. Again, these are all fairly common jobs within the field, and if you don’t want to specialize in writing, but instead want to do something more technical, you’ll have many options to choose from.
The Compensation Package
Since so many people are looking for roles as technical writers and software testers, it’s not surprising that there’s plenty of work available. In fact, Dice.com states that as of April 2021, the median advertised salary for a technical writer is $91,000 per year, plus bonus and benefits. For software testers, the figure is higher at $108,500 per year. Not bad. Especially if you want to change careers and haven’t found the right fit yet.
Time To Change Hacks For Books
If you’re looking for a change of pace from writing code, you might consider picking up a novel, trying your hand at short-story writing, or taking up screenwriting. One of the things that makes a technical writer so special is that they have to do a little bit of everything. This means that they can expand their skills and knowledge base, resulting in a more exciting and varied job. Having a diverse set of skillset is valuable in today’s world.
The Larger The Better
As we’ve established, documentation and project plans can vary in size, but as a rule of thumb, the bigger the better. This is especially true for tech writers who may have to produce large swaths of documentation for very sophisticated projects. If you’re fortunate enough to have an interested employer, they may even provide you with a sample project to get you started. This is very helpful, as you’ll able to see exactly what kind of writing is expected and how you’ll need to go about doing it. If you want to change careers and don’t yet know what field you may want to enter, documentation may be a flexible enough role to allow you to try out different roles and see what appeals to you.
The Variety Of The Projects
One of the appealing aspects of a career in tech is that the projects can vary. If you’re not yet familiar, documentation and project planning involve a lot of written and visual material. It often includes everything from creating software prototypes and illustrations, to documenting processes and operations. This is extremely flexible, as you’ll often be required to juggle multiple tasks and meet tight deadlines. There’s a lot of opportunity for those with a creative bent, and if you can juggle your responsibilities and maintain a healthy work-life balance, the variety of the projects may just keep you engaged.