How will technical communication careers evolve?

During a networking session at the 9th International Conference on Technical Communication: Evolutions of the Discipline, we asked attendees to discuss how technical communication careers will evolve. This is what they said.

Dissolution: a core competency for many different careers

Product Manager, Consulting (e.g. tooling), support positions, UX positions, Education, Management and Leadership

More e-learning

Technical writing becomes a core competency

Tech Writing is design and the positions are absorbed by design groups

The careers may become even more multifaceted, involving UX, customer-support.

Or technical communication may become an extra skill for engineers, in a cost-cutting, systemic crisis context.

Testing (product, data…?)

Consolidation: acknowlegement as a competitive advantage

More direct-to-consumer communication (back and forth commenting/updating)

Better acknowledgment of the profession among other teams

It will be more about the way we interact with the user, the techniques we’re using to help the end-users assimilate content just-in-times support.

Tech wirting is a competitive advantage

More collaboration with other disciplines like marketing and development

More collaboration and integration

Technical writing will become more present in all companies, mostly because data is increasingly easy to handle and also because people are specializing a lot, so I don’t think an engineer could craft a better job than a technical writer (but that’s just my point of view).

Apocalypse: the bots take over

Writing for bots

Worst case scenario : a software is designed to enable technical data extraction. Engineers and technicians are trained to use it. Technical communicators disappear per se, superseded by low-cost technical communication made by outsiders: it follows the same fate as translation.

Technical communication apocalypse

We still need to train the robots

We’ll be writing the human conversations and figuring out tools that we’ll need to write for machine learning applications and automation

Extension: fact-checking for a society in need of information literacy

Pam and Alexandre brought up something really interesting on how TW could help providing information to people who are less at ease with traditional media

Checking the validity of data as a profession

Specialization: domain-specific branches

Supervising of Distributed contributors around the world (increase)

Continuing need for domain-specific writing skills – for developers, for healthcare etc

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