In our latest episode of the Knowledgebase Ninjas podcast, we have Mick Davidson with us, sharing valuable insights on the evolving nature of technical writing over the last 30 years. He sheds light on the challenges documentalists face these days in terms of their role and research.
- Mick’s LinkedIn
- He started his career as a freelance journalist working for newspapers and magazine stories. After several years, he found an office job, where he started writing paper-based training materials and eventually got into writing user manuals and technical manuals for software.
- Mick is a technical author in the development team at Aussie Broadband.
- According to Mick, 30 years ago, documentation was fully paper-based and PDFs. Searching for specific information from those documents was a real challenge.
- Tools like wikis eventually helped to overcome this difficulty. These tools made formatting much easier and allowed technical writers to focus more on content creation. In addition, they enable collaboration and knowledge sharing.
- Mick points out that the advancements in AI and tools like Bard and ChatGPT have made the research part easier for technical writers, enabling them to access a wealth of information and build content rather than searching the internet and getting bits and pieces of information.
- “Technical writing and documentation groups in LinkedIn are such a great resource. If technical writers these days get stuck, they can ask people out there for help. Whereas before 20 years ago, I was a lone writer, if I got stuck, there was virtually nowhere to go for help”, says Mick.
- According to Mick, the biggest challenge for technical writers is that the department is often overlooked, as the developers and technical people are under pressure to get things done since they bring money to the table.
Rapid fire with Mick Davidson
- Highly recommended resource
LinkedIn is a good place to find resources
- One word that comes to your mind when you hear documentation.
- A piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old self
Be more assertive and confident
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