Training technicians to write

PRESS RELEASE dated 2003-07-22

There are many great products available from technology companies. The one thing that users complain about is the lack of documentation and the impenetrability of any documentation that is provided. Many smaller companies just cannot invest in the services of a professional technical writer, and so the technicians produce the user guides and manuals.

Until now, there has been very little commercial training available for technical people who want to learn how to design and produce technical documentation such as user guides, reference manuals and online help systems. That's all changing. The Communication Studies group at Sheffield Hallam University is working with TechScribe to deliver an intensive one-day training course in technical writing.

The course will focus on basic principles rather than on the use of specific tools. This means that the skills learnt can be applied for years to come, whatever the current technology. These basic principles will be covered in a "hands-on" approach, using practical exercises. The course will avoid theory; participants can read about areas of interest later to supplement their learning on the course.

Commenting on the course design, Mike Unwalla of TechScribe said, "One of the challenges of the course is its short duration. However, for most technical people, the choice is either a day away from the office or no training at all. We think that this course fills a gap in the marketplace."

Noel Williams, one of the driving forces behind the course, added, "At Sheffield Hallam University we've been running courses in technical communication for eleven years now. We are in a strong position to deliver high-quality and highly-targeted training that will give participants the skills they need."


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