Ashley Weathers: BS Georgia Tech, MS Penn State University Product Quality Engineer at GE in Greenville, SC
In your opinion, how much of your job is related to technical writing and what type of information is conveyed through writing in your position? In my current job, a ton. I write customer reports for the condition of the parts and our proposed plan to repair. Then the final reports to explain what we did, sometimes why we did it. Writing methods for the operators to explain how to perform tasks.
In a sense of generality with regards to the engineering field, what would you consider to be the most valuable type of writing? That would have to be technical writing in my opinion. Bullet points that keep everything short and sweet with no fluff to it.
Why do you feel that these forms of writing are valued in the general sense as well as in your job personally? That is simple, nobody has time to figure out what exactly is being said or look for some hidden meaning. People just want the information that they need as quickly as possible.
What is the culture of the writing used on a daily basis? Email is what is used for the majority of communications. Long email only get skimmed by most people so the details are missed. By using bullet points, colors, and bold fonts the reader is able to identify what is important quickly.
Common forms of writing:
The common forms of writing that seem to be used across most of the engineering disciplines are proposals, progress reports, and final reports
The most common type of communication is email independent of the form of writing itself
The enfaces on technical writing is very reflective of the extremely technical field that is engineering. A lack of appreciation of the skill that is writing while in undergraduate is a setback that a large number of new engineers have to overcome once they enter into the workforce.