It Always Works for the Tech

I’m not sure how this happens, but automobile and computer technicians occasionally strike fear into the hearts of cars and computers everywhere. How is it that a problem that occurs on a daily (or more often) basis suddenly disappears without a trace as soon as you take your car into a mechanic or call tech support? It’s magical, I tell you! Anyhow, following up on my IT calls last week, I’m continuing to have problems with Microsoft Office. Today’s entry is not meant to be a rant against Bill Gates & Co. (if anything, they’ve been more than patient with me). Instead, this is a non-programming technical writer’s observations of the troubleshooting process in action. Continue reading

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Why Don’t You Talk More About Technical Writing?

Since starting this blog in 2011, I’ve discussed the actual tasks of technical writing as well as a lot of the external (and internal) considerations that affect that writing. Some of you might be wondering if this really IS a technical writing blog, given how many things I write about besides the actual writing. Trust me, if you do enough of this, your “inside game” (thoughts, feelings, plans) can be just as much part of the job as the documents you produce. Nevertheless, today I’ll share a bit “behind the curtain” at Heroic Technical Writing so you can see what I’m up to…and why I don’t share too much. Continue reading

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Calling the IT Department

We’ve all had those days: the network is doing something strange; an application you use every day suddenly decides to reject your password; or you’re trying something new and the system just isn’t accepting it. If you’re a dedicated techie, it’s likely that you’ve learned how to work with the information technology service representatives or technicians in your area. However, just in case you’re encountering difficulties and aren’t certain what the IT person needs to know to help you, here are some helpful hints to make your life–and that of the IT guy/gal–more productive. Continue reading

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Calling in Sick

I hate to do it: calling in sick means a day of lost productivity, tasks not completed, projects delayed. However, it happens. We’re not immune from serious illnesses or the common cold. As I’m nursing myself through a cold, I thought I’d share some thoughts. Continue reading

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Writing Requirements: The Home Edition

A lot of technical writers get experience helping engineers or other technical subject matter experts respond to requirements through proposals, design documents, or documenting actual finished products. Requirements, of course, are a list of things that a customer wants a new product or service to do. However, what if you find yourself on the other side: developing and writing those requirements? Today I’ll provide a high-level explanation of the process, seasoning the discussion with examples from activities you might already do at home. Continue reading

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