Technical writing - the new black gold of India
I was recently interviewed by a correspondent for Indo-Asian News Service. The article titled "Technical writing - the new black gold of India" was published in almost all the leading dailies on Saturday, October 21, 2006.
Excerpt from the interview:
Some estimates put the number of technical writers in India today at over 5,000.
Says Rahul Prabhakar, 27, who runs a network called the Technical Writers of India (TWI): 'There are 2,000 of us on the TWI network alone.' Most on his list are Indian, 'but the people who make the most noise on such lists are primarily American or native speakers of the language'.
Prabhakar, an employee of Samsung Electronics in South Korea, told IANS that TWI has participants from all over the world.
'Anyone can join the list and get the latest copy of TechCraft (the technical writers' bulletin) delivered right in their mailbox,' he said.
According to Prabhakar, Bangalore is the frontrunner amongst all Indian cities working on technical writing 'simply because most (technology-related) multinationals are based there'.
'With no university courses, technical writers in India are left to the wolves. They are made to learn the ropes on their own,' laments Prabhakar. But despite the lack of training possibilities, 'India's participation in the world of technical writing is something that everyone is talking about.'
'With many software development jobs moving to India, support functions like writing are moving base too,' says Prabhakar. According to him, this is due to two factors - more competitive costs, and quality 'which is improving'.
'I would say the veterans have mastered the trade. Working offshore also helps by way of client visits and frequent interactions with stakeholders. The question is how to get more people to do that.'
'So the figures are indicative that numbers are increasing. But quality will be better with continuous education.'