Technical Author – My skills, experience, education, background

Learn to have a Passion for Good Writing

I have always had a natural ability to explain things to people. As a full-time technical author, I am passionate about good writing, and I value the quality of good documentation for my clients and their customers.

At Bath University, where I studied Applied Physics with Electronics, I won the Year Prize for the best Finals Thesis - my first award for good documentation.

Across my career, I was often asked to write the Technical Manuals and Help Guides. I improved my skills by continually asking many customers for feedback on what they liked to see in a good Manual or Help Guide. This author is most grateful for all that feedback!

I have studied the best practices of Technical Writing across the English-speaking countries world-wide. Fortunately, they were all saying the same things, so I adopted their recommendations into my technical writing style, and later developed a Technical Writing Course.

Scientific background

At 4 universities, I studied Applied Physics, Electronics and Control Engineering, to Masters level. This included a fair bit of chemistry too.

I have always had wide scientific and technical interests. Before I left school, I designed and built radio transmitters / receivers / power supplies / amplifiers, and later I built a complete 2-manual electronic organ from the individual components. In my early career years, I was a member of the British Interplanetary Society, – fascinated by advances in space exploration.

What did I write about? ... What am I good at?

I find that I can write competently about almost any technical, industrial or business area. I have helped customers in diverse areas such as:

  • How to operate Leisure Centre Management Systems
  • How to run a Lawn Care Franchise
  • Technical Specifications for the contract to build the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which will be the world's largest optical telescope, having a 39-metre mirror.
  • How to use dozens of software applications in diverse fields, such as the BP Shipping oil fleet cargo  management; pharmacy dispensing; physiotherapy booking systems...
  • How to operate a medical, blood-testing device (e.g. for diabetes)
  • How to operate and maintain industrial, 3D X-Ray scanning systems
  • I edited the database of all the medical equipment used in all the hospitals and dental practices in India, via Crown Agents
  • Operator Manual, equipment for freeze-drying of nuclear waste for Berkeley Nuclear Power Station
  • Aircraft refuelling procedures for Heathrow Airport.

What do you need to write about?

Blessed with an excellent scientific and technical background, I learned a lot of writing skills in 17 years of running my own authoring business.

Now I want to pass on to you the best of what I know.

These skills work even on new subject areas that may be dropped onto your desk. It happened to me all the time - there was always something new. For example, when the Cardiac Research dept. at the University of Oxford asked me to do a Help Guide for some new software that predicted the effect of proposed new drugs on heart cells, I was able to do the job, and they were well pleased indeed.

Ask the Technical Author

If want to learn to be a good technical author, download and study my Free Course.