My two main takeaways from this class are how to write proposals and instructions/documentation.
I believe that writing proposals will a very important part of my job in the IT field. Proposals are necessary to describe new projects, present ideas, and promote services. According to Technical Communication Today, there are two types of proposals: internal and external. Internal proposals are used within a company to plan or propose new projects/products. External proposals are used to offer services or products to clients outside the company. During my IT career, I will write many proposals of both types. For example, if I am working at a healthcare company, I could write an internal proposal that proposes a new database system for all our patients. Or, if I am working for an IT firm, I could write an external proposal to a high school that proposes to replace all their old desktops with new laptops that each student can borrow until they graduate.
In this class, we learned how to write proposals that consisted of the following sections: introduction, current situation, project plan, qualifications, cost and benefits, and conclusion. The assignment about proposing different project-management software to a supervisor is a very realistic situation. Companies are always looking to upgrade their PC’s and/or software, so it is important to be able to present ideas in an effective manner that will stand out from others that are competing.
One part of this class that will help me in the Information Technology field is understanding documentation. Documentation consists of instructions, specifications and procedures/protocols. Documentation in the IT field is so crucial especially with software development. When modifying software, it is a necessity to document the changes through comments in the program or elsewhere. When you hand off your code to someone else in the future they will need to be able to understand it. Without comments and documentation, they will have no idea what they are looking at.
Online documentation is becoming more and more popular for product or software instructions. Most people don’t keep physical instructions nowadays, they rely on online instructions to help them. There is an example from Technical Communication Today that shows online documentation for Dropbox. Dropbox uses images paired with text to make the instructions clearer. Another increasingly popular option is to create a tutorial video for a product or software to explain to customers. So, if my company creates a new product or software, I will ensure that we have adequate online documentation, since I understand that this is so important.