Literature/courses on technical writing


#1

Hi :slight_smile:

Since I’m primarily a software developer I’m mostly writing developer documentation up to release-notes as part of my job. As this came basically as an add-on to my roll, I don’t really have any kind of formal education in that area. That’s something I very much would like to change.

Going back to university is probably a bit much but can you perhaps recommend books (please no articles if possible, for some reason long-form works better for me :slight_smile:) or courses focused on technical writing? As I haven’t read any books about writing yet (much less about technical writing specifically) I have no focus areas yet :slight_smile:

Thank you so much!


#2

So, this is the book that we used (more than a few years ago) in one of the classes I took:

Designing and Writing Online Documentation by William Horton

I remember it being pretty basic, but that might be where you want to start! :slight_smile:


#3

Check out Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors

You’ll also learn a lot from reading the IBM Style Guide. I read it so I could write a style guide for my docs, and it teaches a lot along the way.


#4

Thank you two :slight_smile: Already ordered one of your suggestions :slight_smile:


#5

I recently read Modern Technical Writing by Andrew Etter and I highly recommend it. It is a very brief but cogent intro to the field. The book also has a slight slant toward developer docs, so that may work well for you.

The “Modern” in the title is justified. I found the book refreshing, partly because he drops a lot of the old STC-style mentality (read the intro–he’s too polite to point the finger, but we veterans are not fooled) in favor of an approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, using simple tools, and getting the devs to contribute.

I believe this is only available as an eBook on Amazon.

Another excellent intro is Technical Writing 101 by Sara O’Keefe and Alan Pringle. Also an eBook on Amazon.


#6

Awesome! Thank you so much!


#7

I’m also pretty new to this field and currently reading Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing from Krista Van Laan:

I read from the reviews that the “older” people consider it too brief, but as a beginner I have gotten some useful ideas how to organize my work, choose the style, etc. And it’s very well written :wink:

Good luck!
(And also open to course-suggestions!)


#8

Thank you :smiley: I’ve added it to my to-read list :smiley: