Let's get Technical

Blog » Let's get Technical

Posted on 05 Feb 2013 01:21

Writing in an Engineer's world is used differently than in some other professions. It is used to communicate ideas from either one engineer to another or between an engineer and his client and many other in work relationships. The reason it is different from some other careers is because the writing is meant to effectivly explain the concepts in which you have designed. I used to think that a career in engineering did not involve much writing which was one of the reasons i was interested in it. It scared me to find out that there is a big aspect of writing and if you are not so good at it, it could affect your career. What made me feel better is that the writing involved is very technical and is for the most part trying to tell other people what you have come to find while working on that specific engineering problem. It is not that you have to be creative because there is a format of some sort for each writing that you do and all it involves is getting used to the process.
Engineers must think in many different ways. They have to be creative and insightful while at the same time being realistic, technical and mathematical. This involves much control and sometimes involves working on something that is just and a concept and has not been worked out mathematically. It is not about the elegance of the project but at least in the beginning it is about the practicality of your design or project. This connects to the type of writing that needs to be doneas an engineer. Aesthetics are important sometimesto writing to make things clearer or to just make it more visually appealing but the important part is being pragmatic in engineering writing and explaining in the best words possible what you want to convey to your audience or readers. Engineers should not get lost in the elegance, they should worry about making their point and being logical and practical in the way they do that. As it says in the technical writing book, "technical communication is a process of managing technical information in ways that allow people to take action" (12,Levinsky 2013). This means that the writing is not about emotions or connecting to people, it is about making people take action and push people to do things like investing on your product or hiring you.
I will be honest, my writing has never been something to write home about. I find that when I want to I can get my point across but I find difficulty putting that in a nice elegant manner. I think that my practicality and my creativity can definitly help with engineering writing and being able to follow a formula of writing after practicing it is definitly a skill I have. I do find though the need to work on making my writing (for lack of a better term) "prettier" but I think that is all in the process of doing that type of writing over and over again and eventually getting into a habit of doing the engineering writing process on demand. I think that I can learn these skills with time, patience and practice.

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