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Resources that Ukrainian tech writers advise in 2023

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Every December, we make promises to ourselves for the coming year. And rarely keep them. This December, we offer you a list of wonderful resources that may be a good start and even an enhancement of your technical writing strengths in 2024. We, the community of technical writers, have enjoyed them a lot!


You too will learn more writing techniques, tips to make your writing easier and better, and expert advice for non-writers to keep up the hustle of your writing assignment. So promise yourself to check on the list this coming new year!


These resources are good for everyone, but I would name these stakeholders:

  • Technical writers

  • Engineers

  • Product managers

  • Product owners


Courses that could change your career


Google has developed courses for technical writers but also for non-writers:

  • Technical Writing, including Just Enough Grammar

  • Technical Writing for Accessibility

  • Writing Helpful Error Messages (which might be good for UX writers as well), and

  • Facilitating materials

Google applies recommendations from the Chicago Manual of Style, which I love a lot and comply with them where possible. What is more, they have collected technical writing resources. I would say these resources are a to-do list for beginners but also for experienced technical writers, although Google names tech writers last in the list of stakeholders.

In fact, we could stop here and say: If you do these courses and read these resources, you will certainly improve your writing skills. But the more we learn, the more we grow (and the more we earn). Let's see what else has inspired our tech writing community in 2023.


Technical Writing Fundamentals by GitLab is another source of practice and learning. As a reference, Gitlab also offers its Documentation Style Guide. Reading style guides of other organizations may be a great motivation for brushing up on your own style guide. It is also a source to find inspiration for your further development. Besides, GitLab has published recommendations on localization and Markdown.


Readings that you should save

People and organizations who generously share their insights and knowledge are saints and should be worshiped! Because not many of us are ready to donate our expertise and help others learn to become better.

Professional Technical Writing Course by Philip Tory is one of the treasures you should save on your PC and read again and again: Where to begin, what to write, plain English tips, and even further reading recommendations and many examples!


Above, we have already mentioned GitLab and Google. Now, it's time to acknowledge the Microsoft Style Guide as a substantive source of writing advice. You will find a lot of insights and recommendations there, including a choice of words. Check it out to get inspired for your own choice of words for your project.

GitLab has also posted a list of fantastic templates. Now, if you are lost and don't know where to start your next guide, check out these templates. You may find inspiration there.

Plain English Campaign is not only about technical writing. These free guides are meant to help everyone who writes in English master plain English approaches.


Certificate studies

At some point in their career, technical writers become ready to invest in certificates and diplomas in technical writing. Such courses are usually held online so you don't have to leave your job or even move to another city or country to study.


Oregon State University offers two nice courses on technical writing, both online. One is a free introductory course. We would recommend starting with it to understand if you like it. If you feel you are ready to go deeper and pay for your learning, enroll in their certificate course. This course may also be targeted to focus on specific skillset. Just pick an individual course or several you prefer and pay only for them.


Vistula University in Warsaw has designed a one-year Technical Communication course with the ITCQF certificate. The course is quite fresh which says that technical writing gains popularity.


Tools that could improve your performance


No wonder that since ancient times people have tried to automate and gear all and any routine tasks to boost their performance. Today, technical writers invest their efforts and money in learning various authoring and supplementary tools of all kinds and targets. Our tech writing community is eager to name just a couple of the applications, but, believe me, there are more of them to try and even more to come.


  • Docusaurus is perfect for writing docs and blog posts with MDX, leveraging translation and localization options, and supporting versioning options.

  • MkDocs for project documentation in Markdown can be configured with a single YAML file. In addition to many writing options, the tool builds completely static HTML sites that you can host on GitHub Pages, Amazon S3, or anywhere else you choose.

  • Docsy is a theme for the Hugo static site generator that’s specifically designed for technical documentation sets and has a lot of best practices built in.

  • Documentation Portal shortly lists static site generators and setup tutorials that you may like to know.


We also advise you to check on the tech writing tools in this blog: terminal emulator, command line tool, package manager, REST API testing tools, visual tools, and more. In this article, the author has made a cheat sheet good for a quick writing tool reference.


AI

AI deserves to have its subsection and a couple of admiration words.


PlayHT is a paid AI service that generates an artificial voiceover. The advantages include good and clear English pronunciation, a variety of voices, adjustable speed, and technical support. But there are a couple of disadvantages that should be mentioned: AI hardly reads abbreviations and often intones and pronounces words incorrectly. You need to know English perfectly to feel it and master secret signs (that even technical support cannot help you with) to make the AI say what you need accurately.


Spaces, podcasts, and more you should follow


This is the last but not the least advice from our tech writers. Yes, you should follow other tech writers to continue your self-development. It's great to learn from others as well as communicate with peers to discover more opportunities. We recommend joining:

  • Ukrainian writers' space: This is where you read this informative article.

  • I'd rather be writing: Blogs and podcasts, API courses, and precious knowledge and insights shared by Tom Johnson, an experienced technical writer.

  • Technical Writer HQ: This is a private community for technical writers who can enjoy interviews with experts, UX and tech writing advice, certification, and more.

  • SoftServe Technical Communication space in Medium: Nice readings produced by experts in technical writing, UX writing, and microcopy.

  • WriteTheDocs: This is a space of an international community with a lot of useful insights. They are also known for organizing annual offline and online meetings in Europe, the USA, Asia, and the Pacific where many tech writers meet to share their experience and valuable industry insights.

Final words

I have said a lot of words about the written words, where to find inspiration and best practices, and how to start your path in tech writing and enhance your writing expertise. But you are the one to define and shape your career and discover new opportunities. Enjoy!


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