The Technical Writer Position

The Technical Writer is a student co-op position whose duties have a focus on creating documentation that is readable and up-to-date. The current Technical Writer is Drew Pilcher. He will hold the position until August, 2013.

Major Responsibilities of the CSCF Technical Writer

Manage interactions for client services

An important aspect of providing quality services to CSCF clients is to interact with them exemplarily. It is therefore the duty of the Technical Writer to ensure that this level of interaction is consistently achieved. This is done by developing standards for client interaction and using those standards to communicate with clients accordingly.

Oversee the creation of documentation

When writing documentation, it is not uncommon for writers to overestimate their readers. Their own knowledge and expertise will often cause them to take some piece of information for granted, leading them to assume that their readers will understand things that they actually do not. The technical writer prevents this kind of oversight by taking the time to read through the documentation being produced.

Maintain the relevancy of documentation

As time progresses, changes in processes and/or systems can cause documentation to become out-of-date. The Technical Writer prevents such occurrences by ensuring that documentation remains relevant.

Develop standards for documentation

When being faced with new documentation, it is difficult for readers to find the information they are looking for without first understanding the document’s structure. Learning the structure of the many documents being written is not only frustrating, it is also unnecessary. The Technical Writer is tasked with developing and maintaining a standard for documentation, forcing writers to conform to a common structure. This structure will allow readers to consistently find relevant information without difficulty.

Provide guidance in creating documentation

When being asked to create documentation for a particular process, it is common for a staff member to feel overwhelmed or confused about where to begin writing. The Technical Writer helps guide staff members through the creation of new documentation, keeping the process as effortless as possible.

Assist in writing documentation

When writing documentation, it is a possibility that doing so can pull staff members away from tasks that they consider to be more important. If this occurs, they may be tempted to sacrifice the quality of their produced documentation in order to resume other tasks more quickly. The technical writer prevents this by assisting with the creation of documentation, writing sections wherever possible.

Take the initiative where others might not

When working collaboratively on a system such as Twiki, some structural changes never get completed. Fearful of overstepping the bounds of their duties, staff members might believe that making such changes is a task belonging to another. As a result, many useful changes, such as the reorganization of navigation menus to accommodate a growing amount of content, never happen. The technical Writer is tasked with making such changes.
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Topic revision: r3 - 2013-07-17 - DrewPilcher
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