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“Death of the Technical Communicator”— Current Issues and Future Visions for our Field

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Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore the current state of technical communication in Finland, with a look into the future of the field as practitioners see it. This article is part of a larger study investigating technical communication through activity theory.

Method: The study utilizes autoethnographic interview data to explore and analyze some of the issues technical communicators are currently facing, and how these issues affect their expectations for the future. The literature of the field is used to further illustrate the points made.

Results: User-centeredness is widely recognized as one of the main quality factors in technical communication, but the current work processes of the field do not allow technical communicators access to users or user data. The interviewees are not satisfied with their current work conditions and fear for the future of the field.

Conclusion: It is discovered that while we are currently facing serious problems, there is still a need for user advocates in the product development process. A new model for technical communication is needed in order for the field to survive.
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Keywords: ACTIVITY THEORY; AUTOETHNOGRAPHY; TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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