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12 Steps to Becoming a Technical Writer

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This is far from the first time, but on July 17th – July 19th, 2019, the Ingressive community realized its true purpose. This goal was to lean on its own members to collaborate on solutions to shared pain points. This particular conversation led to key insights and experienced members volunteering their time with more novice participants. 

The topic discussed was technical writing. It is no secret that writing skills for most tertiary graduates are far below the international standard. And if those reaching the higher levels of education lack this important skill set, then what does that say about the general population? African’s will find it very difficult to control our narrative without a strong grasp on the language and medium we choose to leverage. Below is the feedback from those at different places in their journey to better writing, but all are committed to creating informational assets and telling success stories from the African tech ecosystem. 

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The top excerpts 12 from members of our community information are summarized below:

  1. Everyone can and should try to write. I believe if you can create a solution or solve a problem with code, you can surely write. The only difficult part is the story telling and flow behind it.  You can learn by reading other great writer’s articles while taking notes of the styles. Also the more you write the better you become. ~ Rise
  2. Writing is a critical skill no matter what you do, I think being good with technical writing makes you a much better developer ~ Peejay
  3. I must tell the truth here. It is internationally known that writing skills in Nigeria are poor. Learning how to write well will definitely set you apart from an employment perspective and is key to moving up the ranks. I mean… I know we’re all going to starting our own billion dollar companies but just in case… ~ Mr. Burrowes
  4. You will be writing applications and essays,and even when you are going to start your billion dollar business, you will still need to write a business plan that you will pitch to investors. So there is really no running away from it. Just keep writing, with practice you will get better. Even if it is just 100 words on your medium blog write and some of us can help sometimes with the editing and grammar ~ Peejay
  5. Reading is also a great way to learn to write. Reading over time helps recognize speech patterns and common sentence structure. ~ Mr. Burrowes
  6. The key to content success is one has to start documenting. ~ Hydra
  7. You need to learn how to make people see the world through your eyes. Knowing your target audience helps make it easier… ~ Godspeed
  8. Uhm,  I don’t think there is one single approach to developing a technical writer’s skill. First of all I didn’t learn technical writing I just wrote — yeah I know it sounds awkward but that’s the truth. I simply wrote. The effective approach to try out for developers is to revamp documentations, pick a section of a language. Research and write extensively on it in such a way that a newbie would grab easily. That was what I did with angular dart. Quite simple! From there I started working under someone as a freelancer, so I got a lot of corrections on how things should be expressed, keeping sentences short and many more paradigms along the line. But like I said let them write is the first step. ~ IamCorps
  9. I think the biggest issue I come across is grammar. I really liked the part about simple sentences. Write to your level knowing others read at your level. Even if they don’t it’s better to give good information efficiently than a failed attempt at genius level writing. ~ Mr. Burrowes
  10. You really can’t be reviewing a 3000 word article and not expect a boatload of grammatical errors in your content even if you studied English. We are humans. However, get a premium account on Grammarly and you’re good. But don’t use it in isolation; it’s just a correction tool it doesn’t totally get who your audience are you do. Bottom line, complement your brain with tools and you’re good. ~ IamCorps
  11. From a first hand experience, even if you write the best code in the world, if your writing skills are bad you will always be undervalued. It’s good to know your technical skills as they are important but writing is a survival skill. At the very least just be basic and sure. Then, perfect your writing skills and boom! You are ready for the big bucks. ~ Ayo
  12. Attending a Meetup is great. Writing about things taught and explaining the explicitly is even better, because newbies can reference it anytime and anywhere. However writing isn’t for everyone, but for those who want to contribute, writing is an alternative to video tutorials giving limited access to Internet for newbies. It’s not about us, it’s about them. ~ IamCorps
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Ingressive Campus Ambassadors (ICA) and the Entrepreneur Development Group Africa (EDG) were created to build capacity. Join our communities to participate in conversations like these. Afterall, the Ingressivie Community is an open source community where our experience serve as our individual source codes. Sharing these experiences will lead to greater collaboration and growth. If you’re interested in learning a technical skill set join here, entrepreneurs can find content here, and if you feel you are an investment ready startup, apply here.

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