Most technical writers see outsourcing as a real threat. But, if you look at it from another angle, it’s one huge business opportunity.
One of the things I’ve noticed while doing the Tech Writers Salary survey is the tendency for more US IT companies to outsource their technical documentation.Most surprising is that the outsourcing is not going to India, which is what I’d expected but rather to Poland and other eastern-European countries, such as Latvia and Estonia.
Most of the writers are English graduates and judging the samples that they have produced, can produce quite good documentation. Some of the wording and phrasing is a little awkward— but on price they can’t be beat.
The trend towards outsourcing technical documentation seems to be a fact of life.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone in the field —that means you!—who is either working with offshore companies or has identified ways to protect their career.
FWIW – I think Programmers have more to fear that Tech Writers when it comes to outsourcing. What I’d like to know is how it’s affected your career prospects and how you can take ADVANTAGE of this situation.
Become a consultant or mentor technical writing depts in India?
The opportunities are there. I get emails fairly regularly now offering consultancy work in Bangalore and the Middle East.
Would you take these opportunities if they came up?
If not, why?
Do you know how much they pay? More than you’d think!