If your passion for technology exceeds only your passion to communicate, there is a career which may be ‘write’ up your alley.

In an IT firm, technical writers are needed to communicate what the software does. This could be in terms of user documentation, user manuals or any other documentation that is required to support a technical endeavour.

Understanding of complex technology and complex applications which can be translated for the user is a must for any technical writer, says Lalitha Subramanian, who heads the technical writing department at Tata Consultancy Services. So, technical writing means writing to a specification for a specific audience, she says. It does not stop here. “Excellent communication skills, ability to understand technical concepts, business, domain and applications is needed,” starts off Ms. Subramanian ticking off a long list of qualities of a tech writer. The writing has to be simple, easy to understand. It cannot be jargon-free but you have to use jargon effectively and accurately, she says. Good language skills are a must. The tools of the trade come later, she says. Most of the skills are learned on the job. “Larger organisations act as effective training grounds for freshers to get into the groove,” she says. And, a good technical writer also has to be good at training others, because it is a part of the job profile.

“You need to make others write well too. Constantly you need to educate yourself. Work on smarter and more innovative ways,” says Ms. Subramanian.

“The salaries are equal to that of IT professionals,” says Ms. Subramanian. And the career path is similar to that of an IT professional.

SRUTHI KRISHNAN