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Emerging Roles and Hot Markets for Tomorrow’s Tech Writers v3.0

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Talk by Andrew Davis, leader of talent development at Content Rules. Presented to the Society for Technical Communicators at their annual meeting.

Talk by Andrew Davis, leader of talent development at Content Rules. Presented to the Society for Technical Communicators at their annual meeting.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Emerging Roles andHot Markets forTomorrow’s TechWriters© 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Context and Disclaimers I recruit content developers in Silicon Valley What kinds of company need me? Credibility is my motivator Skills and experience are not enough These are organized observations, not empirical research © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Hot Industry Niches for SF Bay Area Content Developers Data Analytics IP Security Big Data (Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL, etc) Mobile/GIS (iOS, Android) SaaS-ified apps Data Center optimization/Virtualization/Cloud Open Source Social Advertising Games/Entertainment © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 4. Tepid Niches SQL/Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence Enterprise applications (non-SaaS) Search Development Tools Content Translation/Localization/Internationalization technology Medical devices Biotech/Pharma Storage (SAN/NAS technology) Networking (including videoconferencing) – non-cloud © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Not-so-Hot Niches, pt 1 Finance/Insurance CRM Semiconductors/EDA PCs, tablets, smartphones (hardware) Peripherals Manufacturing (most) Government © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Not-so-Hot Niches, pt 2 Healthcare Law Utilities Infrastructure (transportation, etc) Education Publishing Graphics (hardware, software) Clean/green tech © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Desirable Intangible Skills/Experience Understanding of business goals and model Entrepreneurial experience Understanding of audience’s context, needs, and priorities Ability to visualize and design customized content deliverables Understanding of translation/localization Experience making a business case for content initiatives Understanding of tools Project management and consensus-building skills © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 8. Desirable Empirical Skills/Experience HTML5, EPUB3, or iBooks Author. IOW, eBooks conversion and delivery XML, XSL, XSLT, XSL-FO, DITA, DocBook, structured authoring tools Arbortext Editor (formerly "Epic") and XMetaL Author, and (to a muchlesser extent) Structured FrameMaker, Author-it, and MadCap Flare Video production (iMovie, etc) and/or screencasting experience(Captivate, Articulate, etc) Wiki implementation experience Interface/user-experience (UX) design, especially for mobile applications © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Technical Skills & Experience – what’s valuable?Q: Is your role a money-maker?Today’s most valuable skills generate profitsThe rest are redundant or offshore-able, and often disrespected © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Consistently Hot TC Roles Developer-oriented content creation (API references, developer tutorials) Video (scripting, creation) – not just scriptwriting, podcasting, vlogging UX Design Structured Content Design/Migration (part of “Content Strategist” work) Others? © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Not-so-Hot TC Roles Publications Manager Editor Proofreader, Indexer, Formatter End-user doc (for consumers and non-technical audiences) System/Network administration doc Proposal Writer Business Analyst Trainer (non-technical, but in recent years also the technical variant) Instructional Designer (non-technical) © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 12. How to Get Hot (a One-Page Primer) Avoid academe Download (and immerse yourself in) trial versions of your niche’s tools Participate in open-source projects Build a portfolio online Study how others do it, then emulate Intern or sub-contract – or just volunteer (for a written reference) Informational interviews (solicited via LinkedIn) Sell your services to v. young companies Network! © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 13. “Upsold” Variants on Core TC Skills, pt 1 Content Strategist (cf Information Architect) Content Marketer Community Liaison Corporate Storyteller Toolsmith (for wikis, structured content authoring/migrations, mobilecontent, content management, etc) User Experience (UX) Designer (not UX Engineer) Terminology Manager © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 14. “Upsold” Variants on Core TC Skills, pt 2 User Assistance (UA) expert Content Manager (SharePoint administrator, process/workflow optimizer) SEO expert Niche Analyst/Blogger/Tech Gadfly/Content Curator Conference Organizer Ghost Tweeter Demo Builder (involves scriptwriting, animation, and marketing) © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Sample Successor Careers Business Analyst Project Manager Program Manager Engagement Manager Marketing Communications Manager Corporate Communications Manager Localization Manager Executive Communicator (speechwriting, spokesperson work) Technical Sales (including recruiting) © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 16. Wanna talk? Andrew Davis, recruiter 408-395-8178 ext. 105 andrewd@contentrules.com www.contentrules.com/jobs © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 17. © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.