Emerging Roles andHot Markets forTomorrow’s TechWriters© 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
Context and Disclaimers I recruit content developers in Silicon Valley What kinds of company need me? Credibility is my...
Hot Industry Niches for SF Bay Area Content Developers Data Analytics IP Security Big Data (Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL, e...
Tepid Niches SQL/Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence Enterprise applications (non-SaaS) Search Development Tools C...
Not-so-Hot Niches, pt 1 Finance/Insurance CRM Semiconductors/EDA PCs, tablets, smartphones (hardware) Peripherals Ma...
Not-so-Hot Niches, pt 2 Healthcare Law Utilities Infrastructure (transportation, etc) Education Publishing Graphics...
Desirable Intangible Skills/Experience Understanding of business goals and model Entrepreneurial experience Understandi...
Desirable Empirical Skills/Experience  HTML5, EPUB3, or iBooks Author. IOW, eBooks conversion and delivery  XML, XSL, XS...
Technical Skills & Experience – what’s valuable?Q: Is your role a money-maker?Today’s most valuable skills generate profi...
Consistently Hot TC Roles Developer-oriented content creation (API references, developer tutorials) Video (scripting, cr...
Not-so-Hot TC Roles Publications Manager Editor Proofreader, Indexer, Formatter End-user doc (for consumers and non-te...
How to Get Hot (a One-Page Primer) Avoid academe Download (and immerse yourself in) trial versions of your niche’s tools...
“Upsold” Variants on Core TC Skills, pt 1 Content Strategist (cf Information Architect) Content Marketer Community Liai...
“Upsold” Variants on Core TC Skills, pt 2 User Assistance (UA) expert Content Manager (SharePoint administrator, process...
Sample Successor Careers Business Analyst Project Manager Program Manager Engagement Manager Marketing Communications...
Wanna talk?Andrew Davis, recruiter408-395-8178 ext. 105andrewd@contentrules.comwww.contentrules.com/jobs                  ...
© 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Emerging Roles and Hot Markets for Tomorrow’s Tech Writers (7/2012)

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To command top dollar, Technical Writers need to stay current with trends in the tech industry.

This presentation offers a recruiter's anecdotal insights into which industry sectors are creating most demand for (qualified) technical writers, and names sectors where it's more likely you'll earn a lot less or even see your job offshored.

For context, this presentation was prepared and delivered in the Spring and Summer of 2012. Things change. As of 1/2013 (when I posted this to SlideShare and LinkedIn), demand from technology companies in the analytics and big data markets was even hotter than a year earlier, while mobile, social, and advertising seems to have cooled considerably.

As always, I welcome feedback to the email address listed in the presentation itself.

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Emerging Roles and Hot Markets for Tomorrow’s Tech Writers (7/2012)

  1. 1. Emerging Roles andHot Markets forTomorrow’s TechWriters© 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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, Camtasia, Presenter, etc.) Wiki implementation experience Interface/user-experience (UX) design, especially for mobile applications © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  9. 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. 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. 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. 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 very young companies Network! © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  13. 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. 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. 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. 16. Wanna talk?Andrew Davis, recruiter408-395-8178 ext. 105andrewd@contentrules.comwww.contentrules.com/jobs © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. © 2012. Content Rules, Inc. All rights reserved.

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