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The Evolution of Technical Communication, 1949-2013 — A Survey

(Excerpts)

Over the years technical communication has transitioned from a conventional author-reader engagement to a realm of social collaboration. Let’s take a look at how technical communication has progressed over time and the significant milestones along the way.

The need to develop user guidance materials for end-users is representative of the intrinsic need of human beings to demystify the complex processes that make an application work. This ensures that documentation will constitute a pivotal function in product and service delivery. Increasingly, technical communicators are beginning to drive end-user communication, such as in the form of moderating the content developed in a collaborative environment.v

There are multiple views about the emergence of technical communication. Even ancient Egyptian and Greek cultures reveal examples of help documentation.

Millenniums later, the World Wars witnessed the development of extensive documentation for using products associated with the defense industry. In 1957, the Society of Technical Writers (STW) in Massachusetts and the Association of Technical Writers and Editors (ATWE) in New York merged to form the Society for Technical Communication (STC), giving rise to a new industry.

Click here to read the rest of this very informative survey of the development of the technical communication field in the aftermath of WW2.

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