10 Things Tech Writers Want Developers To Know

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Tech writers have proven, over the years, an important asset to developers and tech companies looking to educate the masses about their products.
While there are developers who can write well, tech writers with experience and expertise have the potential to do a better job when it comes to writing engaging and informative content.
In this article, we take a look at some of the things tech writers want developers to know. This is information that can help developers help tech writers do their jobs in the best possible way.
Communicate clearly
Communication skills are vital when looking to get people to understand what you are trying to convey. Poor communication skills could mean poor content delivery.
Tech writers depend on documentation from developers to write engaging content. They have the mandate to simplify the complex documents to information non-tech-savvy individuals can understand.
However, if a tech writer doesn’t understand what a developer is trying to communicate, then readers will definitely find a hard time trying to understand the developer’s info.
In order for a tech writer to clearly capture a developer’s work, they need to understand the developer’s work. This means the documentation from developers should always be in a language that tech writers can understand. Not all tech writers have technical backgrounds.
Spell out acronyms
Acronyms have their advantages. From saving time to allowing quick communication, they do come in handy when looking to speed up content delivery. However, when you used the wrong way, they could be more destructive than helpful.
Without spelling out the acronyms, they can lead to wrong communication. As a developer, an acronym could mean one thing to you, but to the uninitiated, it could mean something totally different.
Take, for example, this statement, “MP performance can be improved by adding more power.” to the average reader MP could stand for Multilink Protocol or MP3 player (often mistyped as MP).
To avoid ambiguity and help tech writers deliver quality work to readers, spelling out acronyms where ever they have been used in a document is vital. It makes the whole process of writing easier and faster.
Use visual assets
Technical work, in its raw form, is rarely easy to understand. It is up to a good tech writer to take that raw information and transform it into a simple, easy to read document. To do so, developers have to consider the capabilities of tech writers.
While some tech writers have no issue with documents filled with just words, some have a hard time trying to decipher such documents. The use of visual assets like diagrams and videos come in handy in such instances.
Studies show that visual assets improve readability. They help make content more engaging and worth the read. Plus, many people find it easy to understand information that has been backed by images. The images provide clarity.
As a developer, adding visual assets like images, infographics, and videos in your documents can be a great way of simplifying a tech writer’s work. Assuming that a writer will know what you mean without any clarifications is never a good idea.
Avoid unnecessary wording
Precise information has a way of working more effectively than unnecessary wording. Beating around the bush is never a good idea when looking to help people understand your work faster and easier.
To save on time and energy, there is no need to provide a ten-page document to a tech writer when you could have shortened it to five pages.
Unnecessary wording usually has no room for effective writing. You might not be a pro writer, but showing some level of skills can be of great help to a writer.
Respecting your writer’s time and profession is one way of ensuring you work together effectively. Problems usually arise when these two groups fail to understand each other.
Questions have to be asked
The chances that a tech writer will understand your work with one single read, with a complicated document, are never that high. For clarification of certain sections or what you meant by using certain words or acronyms, questions will have to be asked.
Asking questions doesn’t usually mean that someone is criticizing your work or trying to disapprove of what you have delivered. Sometimes it’s because someone didn’t understand your document.
As a developer, you should always have room for questions, as this helps a tech writer with their work. It’s hard for a good writer to deliver quality work when they can’t understand what they are writing. Plus, questions can help you with your project development.
Avoid micro-editing
A tech writer’s job is to take your information and transform it into a better understandable document. It’s what they are paid for and what they are good at.
Taking the time to go through the final draft of a writer and making your own improvements after they have already been done is one way to ruin good content. Yes, you might not like the wording that has been placed on your work, but it might be what works for readers. Writers deal with readers on a daily basis, so they likely know what readers are comfortable with than you do.
To avoid friction, especially when working in a company, trusting your writer to deliver quality is always a good idea. There is only so much editing that can be done to a document before it finally loses meaning.
Timely reviews
There is no reason that as a developer that you should wait until the 11th hour to deliver a 200-page document to a tech writer. The individual needs sufficient time to incorporate your updates into their document. Deadlines are real and can be quiet costly.
Respecting a writer’s time is one way of showing you respect for their profession. Writing well takes time, and to come up with great content takes even more time. Without putting their time into consideration, it is easy to have your work presented poorly and in an untimely hour.
In a fast-moving world, time is everything. Sometimes it’s the seconds that count when looking to outperform your competitors. Therefore, giving writers the sufficient time they need to make your work shine should never be an option. After all, no one ever hurries a masterpiece.
Accept criticism
Writers have views too. Taking the time to listen to what they have to say about your product can help improve its functions and capabilities.
Most professional tech writers with vast experience have productive knowledge to share. You might be working on a project that is already in the market without knowing. A tech writer who has encountered such a product before can help you tweak your product to make it better.
When looking to come up with a product that is beneficial to society, its best to listen to any type of criticism. Taking advantage of a writer’s experience can be of great help to your project.
Expect translations
If a product does well in one country, it is likely to do well in another country. When faced with the possibility of global recognition for your product, its best to leave room for translation in your documentation.
While it is not easy to know if your product might be successful to a global extent, always being prepared for such possibilities is a good idea.
With a global audience, the need to translate your product’s documentation becomes a necessity. If you didn’t prepare for such occurrences, translators tend to have a hard time quickly producing foreign language versions of your work.
Leave the writing to the professionals
The idea that you alone can present your ideas in the best way possible is hogwash. Writers write, and developers develop. Learning to trust writers with your work, believing they can do it justice is one of the best ways to take your work to the next level.
Writing just developing products is never easy. It takes work, patience, and perseverance. For an individual to call themselves a writer and back up their claims with quality published work, then they worked at it.
Sticking to what you are good at not only saves you time and money but also gives you room to keep working on other projects.
If you know you are not a good tech writer, best leave that job to the professionals. It can help you with getting the word out about your project in the best and most effective way possible.
Final word
Writing just like project development is not easy. However, as you might have learned, these two people, tech writers, and developers need each other to provide great content. They need to learn to work together for the benefit of their audience.
Hopefully, if you are a developer, you have learned a few things about what tech writers want you to know, and you can now put it to practice.
Cheers!

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