Essential Technical Writing

Teamwork depends on clear communication, making technical writing a sought-after, highly transferable skill. These guides provide straightforward processes for planning, crafting, and deploying the documents most important to technical disciplines like engineering or software development.

Writing matters

Technical work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Stakeholders need updates. Work needs definition. Projects need coordination. Customers need training. Everyone need documentation. Which all points back to writing, both for exchanging knowledge within a discipline and for sharing it without.

Some writing tasks are very informal. Any conventions governing social media posts or code review comments are likely to be local, voluntary, and only minimally enforced.

At the other end of the spectrum are tasks bounded by standards (a git commit message) or hard limits (character counts on a web form textarea) with relatively little editorial freedom.

In between are writing tasks with marginally higher expectations than the average Twitter #yolo but with considerable editorial freedom. That’s where these guides pick up. They aren’t intended to teach mechanics (see Strunk and White) or to imbue mastery overnight (that one takes practice, feedback, and time). But for writing clear, effective technical documents, look no further.

Writing wins hearts and minds

R&D is a cost center whose value is somewhat less self-evident than, say, a million-dollar deal landing in the company’s order book.

Making it easy for customers to recognize excellence can help build an organization’s reputation and credibility within the market at outside–and make it easier to justify budgets and headcount.

Even in a supportive, research-focused organization, writing helps determine which projects win out over others.

Clear writing makes technical work easier. It’s as simple as that.


Enough. On to the guides!

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Unpacking the Technical Blog Post
  3. Practical Project Specification