Among technical writers there are two sides: “technical” and “writers”. I belong to the writers’ side. I have always had inclination for the humanities, so I chose a degree in foreign languages that I have completed in 1999. I worked for a long time as an interpreter, and have been engaged in translation throughout my career path.
Once I got the job in an IT-company, I realized that I was very interested in this aspect of writing. It implies involvement in the computer world and communication with very particular type of people. At first it seemed to me that the path to this area is closed for the humanitarians, but later I learned that many technical documentation departments employ philologists. Of course, I was eager to join them.
It’s not easy changing a profession, but my colleagues were a great support to me. They helped me not only to fill in the “technical” gaps, but also to gain confidence in the new field.
Now, having gained proper experience in creating technical documentation, I continue to be amazed by how much creativity is an essential part of this work. They say that a profession of technical writer requires perseverance and attention in the first place, and this is certainly true. But while preparing documents, you realize that no less important is flexibility, and, as strange as it sounds, imagination!
The new profession has also influenced my translation work, by changing my focus to translating areas of IT and telecommunications. Our work doesn’t allow us to cruise, it requires constant updating and renewal of knowledge. In the age of Internet gaining information is an easy task, but there is no substitute to the opportunity of consulting with colleagues. I am very glad that our team includes both the humanitarians and experts in the field of IT. Everyone has something to share, and I think that in our “humanitarian and technical” areas we complement each other well.