Is the Top 5 Technical Writing Books really important as a technical writer? As a technologist, you can quickly get started with technical writing without any course or book provided you know how to write and communicate your thoughts clearly.
However, to stand out as an expert in the field, reading books on technical writing is highly paramount because you will discover many tips that will help you become a better writer and technical writer.
Below is a list of the top 5 technical writing books and recommended free resources you can take to become a better technical writer.
Top 5 Technical Writing Books
Here is a top list of top 5 technical writing books to get you started. The resources are divided into free and paid categories.
The free resources are available online for any technical writer to access and grow their technical writing career.
Google Technical Writing Course
This technical writing course from Google is highly recommended for complete beginners. It gives readers the foundation needed to excel in the field of technical writing.
This is a free guide to technical documentation by the Idratherbewriting blog. It is definitely the best free resource to learn API Documentation and I personally recommend checking it out.
Check the Documenting APIs: A guide for technical writers and engineers on the Idratherbewriting blog.
Here is a list of selected top 5 technical writing resources to hone your technical writing skills.
Let’s explore the top 5 technical writing books that I will personally recommend you start reading now to grow your technical writing career.
Here are the top 5 most recommended paid books to grow your technical writing career.
Technical Writing Process
The Technical Writing Process is a simple 5-step guide that anyone can use to create technical documents such as user guides, manuals, and procedures. The book was written by Kieran Morgan and co.
It’s suitable for a wide range of audiences: aspiring technical writers and students of technical writing, non-writers who find themselves assigned with the task of creating technical documentation, established writers who want to bring more structure to their work, and anyone managing documentation project.
The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing
This is a must-read book for every technical writer as it helps explain complex technical concepts to users in an understandable format.
Every complex product needs to be explained to its users, and technical writers, also known as technical communicators, are the ones who do that job. In a growing field, technical writing requires multiple skills, including an understanding of technology, writing ability, and great people skills.
Whether you’re thinking of becoming a technical writer, just starting out, or you’ve been working for a while and feel the need to take your skills to the next level, The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing can help you be a successful technical writer and build a satisfying career.
Here are what you will learn inside the Book:
- Is This Job for Me? What does it take to be a technical writer?
- Building the Foundation: What skills and tools do you need to get started?
- The Best Laid Plans: How do you create a schedule that won’t make you go crazy? How do you manage different development processes, including Agile methodologies?
- On the Job: What does it take to walk into a job and be productive right away?
- The Tech Writer’s Toolkit: How do you create style guides, indexes, templates, and layouts? How do you manage localization and translation and all the other non-writing parts of the job?
- I Love My Job: How do you handle the ups and downs of being a technical writer?
Docs for Developers: An Engineer’s Field Guide to Technical Writing
This is my best and personal recommendation. Written by Jared Bhatti and co.
Learn to integrate programming with good documentation. This book teaches you the craft of documentation for each step in the software development lifecycle, from understanding your users’ needs to publishing, measuring, and maintaining useful developer documentation.
Well-documented projects save time for both developers on the project and users of the software. Projects without adequate documentation suffer from poor developer productivity, project scalability, user adoption, and accessibility. In short: bad documentation kills projects.
Docs for Developers demystifies the process of creating great developer documentation, following a team of software developers as they work to launch a new product. At each step along the way, you learn through examples, templates, and principles how to create, measure, and maintain documentation―tools you can adapt to the needs of your own organization.
What You’ll Learn
- Create friction logs and perform user research to understand your users’ frustrations
- Research, draft, and write different kinds of documentation, including READMEs, API documentation, tutorials, conceptual content, and release notes
- Publish and maintain documentation alongside regular code releases
- Measure the success of the content you create through analytics and user feedback
- Organize larger sets of documentation to help users find the right information at the right time
Who This Book Is For
Ideal for software developers who need to create documentation alongside code, or for technical writers, developer advocates, product managers, and other technical roles that create and contribute to documentation for their products and services.
Managing Your Documentation Projects
This book helps you manage every phase of your publication and documentation projects. Written by JoAnn T. Hackos.
Practical, authoritative, and the first comprehensive guide to managing every phase of your publication project.
The only book devoted exclusively to technical publication project management, Managing Your Documentation Projects arms you with proven strategies and techniques for producing high-quality, extremely usable documentation, while cutting cost and time-to-market.
What You’ll Learn
- Clear-cut, rational guidelines for managing every phase of the project from planning and development, through production, distribution, and project evaluation
- Scores of usable templates, checklists, summaries, and forms
- Dozens of real-life case studies and scenarios taken from the author’s extensive experience at top corporations
- Techniques are applicable to virtually all fields of documentation.
Technical Writing For Dummies
This is the most friendly guide to technical writing and I will personally recommend it to beginners and newbies to the Technical writing industry. Written by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts.
Let’s face it, a lot of technical documentation reads as if it had been translated into English from Venutian by a native speaker of gibberish. Which is annoying for you and expensive for the manufacturer who pays with alienated customers and soaring technical support costs. That’s why good technical writers are in such big demand worldwide. Now, Technical Writing For Dummies arms you with the skills you need to cash in on that demand.
Whether you’re contemplating a career as a technical writer, or you just got tapped for a technical writing project, this friendly guide is your ticket to getting your tech writing skills up to snuff.
What You’ll Learn
It shows you step-by-step how to:
- Research and organize information for your documents
- Plan your project in a technical brief
- Fine-tune and polish your writing
- Work collaboratively with your reviewers
- Create great user manuals, awesome abstracts, and more
- Write first-rate electronic documentation
- Write computer- and Web-based training courses
Discover how to write energized technical documents that have the impact you want on your readers. Wordsmith Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts covers all the bases, including:
- All about the red-hot market for technical writing and how to get work as a technical writer
- The ABCs of creating a strong technical document includes preparing a production schedule, brainstorming, outlining, drafting, editing, rewriting, testing, presenting, and more
- Types of technical documents, including user manuals, abstracts, spec sheets, evaluation forms and questionnaires, executive summaries, and presentations
- Writing for the Internet—covers doing research online, creating multimedia documents, developing computer-based training and Web-based training, and writing online to help
Combining examples, practical advice, and priceless insider tips on how to write whiz-bang technical documents, Technical Writing For Dummies is an indispensable resource for newcomers to technical writing and pros looking for new ideas to advance their careers.
Technical writing is a writing career and at such demands a lot of reading because writers are readers.
In this article, we have listed the top 5 technical writing books and recommended free resources you can take to become a better technical writer.
Here is a summary of the books:
- Technical Writing Process
- The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing
- Docs for Developers: An Engineer’s Field Guide to Technical Writing
- Managing Your Documentation Projects
- Technical Writing For Dummies
There you have it. Let us know your favorite.
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