Now that the Internet, user-generated content and mobile applications have become a ubiquitous part of technical support, does the future of technical writing as a career hang in the balance? HomeInfographicsAre online, crowd-source help systems killing your future in technical writing? The Internet has radically transformed numerous industries, including travel agencies, print journalism and entertainment to name a few.
The rise of free and inexpensive support systems, the power of crowd-sourced content, and the demand for instant, personalized service is having a dramatic impact on the future of technical writing as a career choice. According to, a now-defunct domain—bad omen?—one of the most competitive and lucrative fields of professional writing is becoming even more competitive. As both supply and demand for technical writers rise—and new forms of technical writing emerge—it is increasingly important for technical writers who want to remain atop their field to gain specialized competencies and advanced training and certification to stand out from their growing ranks and secure their future in the industry. Are you developing software or hardware for niche markets?  Do you need high quality, accurate, readable documentation to support your products?  Do you need it NOW?
If the airflow is not smooth, the airplane loses its lift and the pilot can lose control over the airplane.  The pilot must take action to restore smooth airflow over the wings, stabilizers, and control surfaces, or the airplane will crash. In classroom instruction the student pilot learns about the incipient spin (wing drop), full spin, and flat spin.
In flight training the student pilot learns to recognize the signs of an incipient spin and how to recover from it with minimum loss of altitude. In more advanced flight training the student pilot might learn how to enter and exit from a full spin. In rare cases, in a fully aerobatic airplane, the highly trained pilot might practice entering and exiting a flat spin.  The flat spin is a dangerous maneuver that is amazing to experience, and dramatic to watch from the ground. In flight training the student learns what causes a spin, how to recognize the approach of a spin condition, and how to recover from the condition.  Air turbulence due to changing wind conditions or pilot error can cause an incipient spin condition. To an airplane, climbing is something like accelerating a car.  To cause a car to accelerate, the driver presses on the accelerator pedal.
It is a test of the pilot’s flying ability to identify an incipient spin condition and take corrective action immediately, to minimize altitude loss.  Minimizing altitude loss is particularly important if the pilot is just taking off, and is only a few feet above the earth! To enter a full spin, pull the stick (yoke) back, raising the airplane nose, but do not increase the engine power setting.  The airplane slows as it climbs.

Releasing the stick (yoke) and rudder pedals enables the airplane  to come out of the spin by itself eventually — hopefully, before it crashes! To exit the spin, center the stick and apply opposite rudder and engine power.  When the airplane stops rotating and builds up airspeed, center the rudder pedals, pull the stick back to level the airplane, and adjust engine power to reach cruising speed. A flat spin is an aerobatic maneuver.  Only attempt flat spins with an aerobatic airplane that is designed for it, and after thorough training in the procedure.
To execute a flat spin requires as much altitude as possible.  At least 8000 feet above terrain is necessary. To enter the flat spin, climb the aircraft at a steep angle, with engine power setting at cruising configuration.
The airplane tumbles.  G-forces vary from zero to large, in all possible directions, for a few seconds only.
To recover, the pilot pulls the engine throttle back to idling, pulls the stick full back and applies full rudder in the opposite direction of the spin. In a smooth motion the pilot moves the stick forward, while smoothly moving the throttle to apply engine power.  This smooth motion continues until the engine is under full power and the stick is full forward, against the firewall.
But, what was the airplane’s minimum altitude at the bottom of the dive?  how close to the ground did it really get? No pilot should attempt a flat spin except with an experienced instructor and an aerobatic airplane; but every pilot should, at least in theory, know how to recover from any situation, including a flat spin. Even though student pilots may never practice a flat spin, it is important that they know about it and how to recover from it.  Pilot error or turbulent weather conditions could throw an airplane into a flat spin.
Your author has experienced two flat spins in a DeHavilland DH-C1 Chipmunk airplane.  The Royal Canadian Air Force used this airplane type to train fighter pilots. As the democratization of content creation expands the supply of technical writers simultaneous to an expansion in demand from organizations, new forms of technical writing are emerging. Is your company tech forward in its approach to delivering help, or are you still writing archaic, 100-page print manuals? Johnson has also authored and maintained descriptive and user documents for computer and other hardware.  For the military he has authored both Type 1 (specification) and Type 2 (as built) hardware documents for the Navy and Air Force. Johnson has the technical background to grasp sophisticated technological concepts.  His devotion to documentation stems from his use of sophisticated electronic equipment in remote and harsh environments, where he had to depend solely on the guidance of technical documentation to maintain and repair the devices he was using.

Kohler held positions as copy editor and copy desk chief for a group of weekly, semiweekly, and daily newspapers, and as copy editor for a metropolitan newspaper.
His experience includes writing installation, operation, and maintenance manuals for lightwave transmission systems installed in telephone company networks.
Parris began his technical writing career producing programmers’ manuals for computer programmers writing computer programs to control automated antenna tests.
Organizations are embracing online communities, forums, commenting systems and social networks like never before to satisfy their growing technical content needs.
It forecasts the field of technical writing to grow 15% faster than the national average from 2012-2022, among the fastest-growing fields of writing it studies.
Do you believe—like some journalists do—that your field is finally catching up to the online landscape? These manuals provide procedures for mechanical rack and shelf installation, ground connection, power connection, electrical data cable connections, optical fiber connections, software installation, and computer controlled operation. He did some writing for a web site supporting the field service engineers of a telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
His Amateur Extra class amateur radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission provides an indication of his technical knowledge and skills. And with the rapidly changing landscape, technical writers are uncertain about the future of their careers. Are you confident in the future of technical writing as a viable career choice for upcoming college graduates?
These manuals were delivered to telephone companies that purchased these systems and read by their employees. Parris, wrote a manual for a digital tape recorder installed in a Navy fighter jet to military specifications. Or as Mark Twain said, "Get your facts first then you may distort them as you please." Stop by our About page and consider joining us.

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