Tuesday, December 25, 2007


It's 9 :00 PM now..I am in the parking lot of my office. I look for my car, and drive away to go back home. It has been a exhaustive day thoughout, today with lots of meetings and even the boss wasnt in a good mood today. My life has become miserable. Sometimes, I feel like going away from this big bad corporate world. Meetings, deadlines, appraisals, incentives...etc etc. There is nothing innovative to do in life. I have so much to do in life. I want to play a guitar, want to sing a song, start my own restaurant, and blah blah! Theres so much to do..but still cant fulfill my own dreams as I am so use to this corporate world. I have now become a part of it, and have to cope with it.

I start driving, get out of the building, and come on the road. There, I see a woman wearing a white saree asking for a lift. She seems to be in a trouble. Her car, though nowhere to be seen might have broken down, or she also might have been working late like me, and has no other alternative to go home. I stop my car besides her..I dont know why I did it but my foot just went over the brakes automatically. Maybe, the woman was so attractive that I just couldnt resist myself. She had long hair, bluish eyes, and she looked like an angel on this earth.

To be continued......

Friday, June 08, 2007

Types of Documents created by Technical Writer
  • API Guides
  • User Guides
  • Concept Guides
  • Database Guides
  • Developer's Guides
  • Installation Guides
  • Reference Guides
  • Release Notes
  • Implementation Guides
  • Quick Reference Guides
  • Administration Guides
  • Online Help Systems
  • Interactive Media
  • Training Materials
  • Maintenance Guides
  • Troubleshooting Guides
  • White Papers
  • Patch Release Notes
  • Data Sheets
  • Glossaries

Verticals where Technical Writers are required:

  • Aviation
  • Biotechnology
  • Building & Public Utility
  • Consulting/Professional Services
  • Defense
  • Educational Institutions
  • Shipping
  • Financial Institutions
  • Government
  • Hardware and Software
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Internet
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Shipping Ports
  • Telecommunications
  • Pharmaceuticals

How does Technical Writer help the industry?

  • Reduce costs of providing technical support if the instructions are well written.
  • A well-writtten document helps convince a prospective customer.
  • It helps avoid/reduce costly product redesigning.
  • Other team members such as QA/Testing can concentrate on other tasks as opposed to spending time on validating incomplete documents.

Tools that Techncial Writer Use

Authoring Tools:

  • Adobe FrameMaker
  • MS Word
  • Adovbe Dreamweaver
  • WebWorks Publisher
  • Adobe Robohelp

Imaging Tools

  • Microsoft Visio
  • Paintshop Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • SnagIT

Style Guides

  • Microsoft Manual of style guide
  • Chicago manual of style guide

Monday, April 16, 2007


Frankly speaking, I am not a playwright nor I have any sort of knowledge of writing for plays and I haven’t even got a chance to watch one. However, still, I am here to describe about one of the finest plays in the history of theater. It’s called “Manodasha” that was held at Pearey Lal Bhavan, New Delhi on 7th April 2007. The play has been organized by “Amazing thoughts” theater group and it has been directed by Abhineshwar Dayal Saxena or “Abhi Da” as he is well known by his students.

Manodasha is a beautiful way to explain the mystery of life, which gives you a walkthrough of various events that have occurred in life i.e. from one destruction to another. Manodasha reflects the social & political philosophy of various eras. It starts when the universe originated where every human being has only the natures’ wealth in hand. It then goes ahead to describe that the times have changed since then, and in the modern society, also called “KALYUG” man has bought changes to not only the lifestyle but also the thinking have changed altogether. The modern times has given rise to casts, ravenousness, and egoistic attitude. Manodasha tries to explain that the human being have become obsessed to the raced to the power, and have bought a false belief to become an almighty. This has led to jealousy, enmity, and hostility that is a step further to the destruction of mankind.

In the hunger to win the race of authority, the human being has started to act like a God. Today, the humans possess nuclear weapons which have brought the world at the edge of the cliff. In addition, it is highly probable that the race to acquire these weapons will bring destruction. The humanity will face its devastation from the world and will turn our earth into desert symbolizing the death of mankind.

This play brings in light to the manipulation of the system by the power and the acceptance of such values & system by the society. It has throttled the lives of human beings. This play explains that how a human being tries to fight against the evil does of the socio-political equation but is handicapped with its own problems of livelihood. It explains how the human being in turn struggles for existence on this earth, and in turn has become a victim of cast, greed, and ego. However, this play doesn’t depict any particular era as a whole. It tries to tell different stories that have occurred in various eras in order to reflect the equation of state of human being’s mind.

MANODASHA has been staged many times since 1980. It was staged three times at the Motilal University and then in Bhavana Kala Mandir. In addition, it was staged six times in the Indian Youth festival at Maulana Azad College, where it was chosen as the best original script.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Role of a Technical Writer in an IT company

When I joined my first organization as a technical writer, I was the only technical writer in the company. Though, my designation was a technical writer, I was performing all the tasks except for technical writing, which included developing marketing proposals, brochures, sales presentations, multimedia applications such as Computer-Based Tutorials (CBT), and so on. But as I was beginning my career, I didn’t mind doing those tasks. Today after gaining some experience (six years to be precise) in technical writing and looking back at those years, I try to visualize my career path if I hadn’t been a technical writer. What I could have been, a programmer, a DBA, or a Quality Analyst? There could have been more options; I don’t want to even think of. I thank my heavens for getting an opportunity to work as a technical writer. You must be wondering, why? Why is it that I am happy to be a technical writer? How does this job excite me? Why am I interested only in technical writing and not development, testing, or any other career path? The only reason being that the technical writers act as an interface between the developers and end users. These users include consumers as well as scientists, engineers, programmers themselves, and production managers. As a matter of fact, I am doing a community service by acting as a bridge between the users and the product. My role as a technical writer involves translating the typical information about the product into a language that is easily understood by any user.

Most companies tend to underestimate the role of a technical writer, and try to demoralize them by not giving them enough resources. However, it all depends upon the technical writers as to how they manage those situations. In addition to this, many companies don’t know the importance of technical writing, and they even try to cut the costs of developing documentation. This is because of lack of awareness among the companies about the importance of involving a technical writer in the documentation. Today many companies are slowly beginning to understand the role of technical writer but there is a lot of work to be done. As there goes a saying, “Miles to go before we sleep…”, and thanks to STC-India (Society of Technical Communication) for its wonderful work on generating awareness about this field.

The role of technical writers include more than just writing any documents, and with the widespread use of desktop publishing, a technical writer may be involved in the whole publication process including graphics, layout, and document design. As a technical writer, I have been a part of developing documentation such as training materials, user manuals, help systems, and multimedia presentations. In addition, it also involves developing product instructions, reference and maintenance manuals, articles, project proposals, technical reports, catalogs, and brochures. All this and much more involve a technical writer’s hand.

A technical writer can have wide variety of job-titles such as Medical Writer, Communications Specialist, Policy and Procedure Writer, Proposal Writer, Publications Specialist, Science Writer, Documentation Specialist, Health Writer, Information Developer, or a Technical Editor. As a technical writer, I carry out the following tasks while developing the documentation:
  • Analyze the needs of the target audience
  • Study the data and conduct interviews with the subject matter experts to understand the product or procedure
  • Arrange illustrations, charts, and photographs to be included in documentation
  • Edit, standardize, or revise material prepared by other writers or personnel
  • Assist in laying out material for publication
  • Prepare rough drafts of the publication for review with the project staff and/or customers
  • Create and edit web pages for the Internet and corporate intranets and extranets

Now, the question comes in that what are the skills required for me as a technical writer. There are various skills, and some of these include:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with various people while writing the documentation.
  • Ability to listen effectively to what other people are saying and ability to ask appropriate questions.
  • Ability to gather information and identifying the essential information.
  • Ability to find ways to structure or classify multiple pieces of information, and then reorganizing the information to obtain a better approach to problems or tasks.
  • Ability to quickly grasp any new technology or concept.
  • And, last but not the least, which is the most important skill for technical writers is the English Grammar skills. A technical writer should have knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Now, you must find the following piece of information amazing as I am going to talk about willingness to travel, and more so, travel abroad as it is done by most of our counterparts who are working as developers or QA or so on. Moreover, you must be sad to know that technical writer is a usually a job that is done at your own workplace, and more so after this job has been outsourced by most companies in USA to India. However, you may be required to travel to various locations during the planning and production of technical publications. This is done in order to discuss the project details. Often, technical writers may work alone or together under the supervision of a publications chief or editor, a product or procedure specialist, or a marketing manager.

Technical writing has become increasingly popular, and a reputed occupation in various sectors of the industry. More and more people are willing to opt for this field as this field doesn’t only pay you well but it also involves you to learn new and upcoming technologies. The demand for the technical writers is growing and is expected to grow more because of the need to communicate new scientific and technical information to the end-users. Due to this ever increasing demand, the companies have started to show interest in providing education on technical writing to the students. There are few companies who offer courses on technical writing that allow the students to not only obtain the certificate in technical writing but also gain hands-on experience in this field. The day is not far when there will also be degree courses in technical writing. This is a dream which I feel will come true. I am waiting for the day to come.

Are you also waiting?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Ram Prasad, a retired hawaldaar, was waiting anxiously for his son's return from the war. His son, Ramesh had gone to the kargil sector to fight against the enemies who had infiltrated into our territory.

Ram Prasad had already heard in the news channels about the killings of various soldiers. Since then, he was worried about his son's whereabouts. Thus, he was waiting to get some message that will tell him that his son was fine. Ramesh was his only son though; his only hope to stay alive after his wife had died a long time back. He regretted himself to have sent his only son against the wishes of his son to fulfill his needs and desires, because it was he wanted to be in the Indian Army but couldn’t go because of certain reasons. He cried, he wept, and begged to god for his son's safety. He pleaded to god to not take his son's life, he pleaded to let him stay with him because he was the only one left in his life.

Then suddenly, there was a knock at the door, a loud thump. Everything went silent, there was silence everywhere. He felt scared to open the door. But, then he thought maybe it was his son himself. There was also this hope that allowed him to move slowly towards the door. As he opened it, he was greeted by his friend who was a postman. His friend said, "Hello! There is telegram message for you."

He quickly took the telegram from him, closed the door, and opened it. The telegram has just one line mentioned in it, "Major Ramesh Prasad dies in the kargil war."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Million-Dollar Smile

Today, when I woke up in the morning, I woke up with a “SMILE” on my face. I always wonder what a smile can do to you.

Well, it can change your whole life drastically, and it can change your attitude throughout the day. Just one smile can bring two enemies together, and bring peace and prosperity. As there goes the saying, “You haven’t lost your smile, its right there below your nose; you just forgot it was there.” It means that you were in involved so much in your worries that you forgot to even smile. Smiling is not a difficult task. You just have spread your lips a little bit, and it’s a nice exercise too for your health. A smile can change your whole world, and it can make your life beautiful. It has the biggest advantages of all as a smile can make new friends, it can bring two distant people come closer. It puts other people at ease. It can be a great way to start a new relationship. If you are meeting a person for the first time, then, just pull up your million-dollar smile, and see the magic for yourself. A smile can even let us know about our personality and especially our level of self-esteem. It can help improve your social life and bring confidence within yourself.

“SMILE, and the world smiles at you.”

Imagine a person who is having a tough time during the day, and you just go to him with your smile. See the magic it will create to him after watching your smile. It will allow him to feel fresh. And now, you must be wondering that how can we smile all the time. Maybe, people will call us mad to smile on a funeral. But, its not always necessary to smile with your lips. A smile can make you realize that you are not the only one who has the sorrow & pain. There are others who have the same thing. Tell me one human being on this earth who do not suffer from pain whether it is due to loss of some loved one or loss of a job or any other pain. A successful person is one who smiles no matter what happens in their life.

A smile can make you live longer, and it has been even proved by many psychologists. According to a study of general psychiatry published in November ‘2004, it was proved that the elderly optimistic people were less likely to die than the pessimistic people were. As optimism helps you to always smile, which in turn lets you fight illnesses better. Due to optimistic attitude, people have the strong and robust immune systems. Christopher Peterson, Phd says that “Optimistic people act differently…..and are more likely to do the things that public health experts say are associated with good health”. Smile helps you feel like eating tons of chocolate bars. Smile helps bring happiness to you life as well as to the people around you, and that includes your family, your friends…A hale and hearty smile can help you improve your confidence and helps you succeed in your career. A smile is contagious. It helps to make others smile too. It helps create a “halo” effect thus helping us to feel more positive and more motivated.

Let me put forth a wonderful poem on Smile by Kurt Hearth,

A smile
is a frown turned upside down.
A smile
is painted on the face of a clown.
A smile
brightens a dreary day.
A smile
chases tears away.
A smile
is a gift that shows you care.
A smile
is priceless no matter where.
A smile
is the key to happiness.
A smile
a sure sign of success.

When you feel lonely in a strange place.
It helps to see a smile on another's face.
If there is any real magic around.
It is the silent magic of a smile's sound.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and smile and let others smile too to spread happiness and prosperity…And then, there might be no suffering