IT Pros and Writing

Whenever he sends e-mails, my colleague and frequent Certification Magazine contributor David Garrett includes the following quote from Peter De Vries: “I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” Every writer I know of (including yours truly) can relate to that sentiment, as the idea of exhausting documentation and convoluted sets of guidelines and regulations is anathema to us. Apparently, IT pros can sympathize with us on this now more than ever, if a recent study conducted by business writing training provider BackDRAFT is any indication.

The company’s poll of thousands of workers in the United States and Canada shows that the typical technical engineer is writing 37 percent of the day, which is higher than any other sector: financial, real estate, hospitality, and even the military and government. That amount has risen by about a third in just the past five years. “I think we have massive amounts of technical documentation that needed to be written, which didn’t have to be written before,” said Brian Hanington, CEO of BackDRAFT. “In a world with an appetite for digital products, there’s a great burden of customer service, call center response and technical assistance, which will overwhelm any company that doesn’t have good technical documentation.”

This might not be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that most tech professionals—well, let’s just say that IT pros don’t have many Shakespeares, Miltons, Thoreaus or Dickinsons in their midst. This isn’t all their fault, though. For one…



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