By Melonie McMichael | STC Member and Instructor of STC’s “Technological Adaptability” online course

Technological adaptability is the ability to learn technology quickly and deal with technological issues efficiently and with confidence. It is a skill in and of itself that enhances other technological skills. When we focus on learning technological adaptability rather than just individual technologies, we create skills that that will serve us our entire careers.

So why do technical communicators need to be technologically adaptable?

Take a moment to think about what we do. We take technical ideas and disseminate them to the appropriate audience. We might be creating help files, a training program, marketing materials, or some other form of communication. We might be usability testing or working on user experiences. Our field requires that we not only be comfortable with publication technologies, but also with the technologies we document. Publication technologies often move quickly, as communication technologies fall in and out of fashion.

Technological innovation is moving exponentially for the technologies we document. Many technical communicators work on the bleeding edge of technological innovation. We must be technologically adaptable to keep up with all these technological changes.

I can promise you one thing about the technology of the future: it will change. We need to focus on technological adaptability as a skill in and of itself so that we can meet those changes.


Technological Adaptability: Growing Your Technical Skills” begins 9 August and runs through 13 September. The course is self-paced for the convenience of attendees. Questions? Contact deborah.krat@stc.org.

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