The Golden Age of Technical Communication

  title={The Golden Age of Technical Communication},
  author={Miles A. Kimball},
  journal={Journal of Technical Writing and Communication},
  pages={330 - 358}
  • M. Kimball
  • Published 1 July 2017
  • Sociology
  • Journal of Technical Writing and Communication
This article uses a historical perspective to describe the development of the profession of technical communication through three ages: Brass, Beige, and Glass. I compare this development to the growth of the academic discipline and both to the explosion of noninstitutional technical communication—the growing body of tactical technical communication that happens outside of organizations and institutions. This leads me to describe today as the Golden Age of technical communication. I conclude… Expand

Figures from this paper

Tactical Technical Communication
A decade ago, I was struck by the realization that almost all of the scholarship in our field focuses on the technical communication that happens within organizations, or that is produced byExpand
Sites of Experience Architecture: Methodology for Community Formation
This technical paper uses a descriptive method for articulating existing core interests and sites of productive study, ranging from memorials to applications to videogame spaces, suitable for a variety of workplace context by stressing descriptions of emergent research over prescribing practice. Expand
Evolving skill sets and job pathways of technical communicators
Recent research in technical communication (TC) indicates that the field has become more varied than ever in terms of job titles, job skills, and levels of involvement in the design and productionExpand
Identifying Commonalities and Divergences Between Technical Communication Scholarly and Trade Publications (1996–2017)
More than 20 years ago, Elizabeth O. Smith published her points of reference that documented the research trajectory of technical communication from 1988 to 1997. Her results indicated a focus onExpand
7. Regenerating a Once Fallow Ground: Theorizing Process and Product in 21st-Century Technical Communication Ecologies
This chapter describes how one institution revised its professional and technical communication program to include more technology and community engagement experiences. The program originally wasExpand
Rhetorics of Proposal Writing: Lessons for Pedagogy in Research and Real-World Practice
Proposals are ubiquitous documents with challenges beyond the writing task itself, such as project management, strategic development, and research. Reporting on proposal instruction research in otherExpand
Taking the Tactical Out of Technical: A Reassessment of Tactical Technical Communication
  • T. Randall
  • Engineering
  • Journal of Technical Writing and Communication
  • 2021
This article interrogates the concept of tactical technical communication specifically questioning the established understanding of de Certeau in the field of technical communication. It argues onceExpand
Dwelling on Vlogging: A Case Study of an Amateur Technical Communicator
  • Shuwen Li
  • Sociology, Computer Science
  • 2019 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)
  • 2019
A preliminary case study of a type of tactical technical communication—beauty vlogging is presented using a rhetorical cluster analysis and elicited seven techniques that were projected in those videos to unpack how the vlogger constructed her ethos that ultimately advanced her status from an amateur technical communicator to a young entrepreneur. Expand
Discourse Strategies in Technical-support Interactions
This study responds to the lack of research on the discourse of technical-support interactions. Researchers have explored successful practices for recruiting technical-support personnel, constructsExpand
Paratexts to Non-Linear Media Texts: Paratextuality in Video Games Culture
The thesis explores paratextuality in the video game culture. This concept coined in 1982 by Gérard Genette in the context of literary publishing has been throughout the last thirty-five yearsExpand


Relocating the Value of Work: Technical Communication in a Post-Industrial Age
This article analyzes the location of "value" in technical communication contexts, arguing that current models of technical communication embrace an outdated, self-deprecating, industrial approachExpand
The Process and Prospects for Professionalizing Technical Communication
Despite claims for at least the past quarter century of mature professional status for the field of technical communication, studies in the history and sociology of the professions provide criteriaExpand
Rethinking the Articulation Between Business and Technical Communication and Writing in the Disciplines
In a profound sense, the teaching of business and technical communication (BTC) is always already the teaching of writing in the disciplines (WID). Yet the WID dimension of BTC is often hard to see.Expand
The Technical Communicator as Author
The authors explore the parallels to be found by comparing descriptions of the technical communicator with differing views of the communication process—the transmission, translation, and articulationExpand
Gender, Technology, and the History of Technical Communication
This article considers why women have been absent from the history of technical communication. It discusses research from the history of technology suggesting that notions of technology, work, andExpand
Cars, Culture, and Tactical Technical Communication
This article examines two cases of technical documentation occurring outside of institutions. Using a framework derived from de Certeau's (1984) distinction between strategies and tactics andExpand
Certification in Technical Communication
The debate over certification of technical and professional communicators has occurred with periods of relative intensity and quiescence for more than twenty years. This article surveys theExpand
User Agency, Technical Communication, and the 19th-Century Woman Bicyclist
This article considers how users employ extraorganizational technical communication to reshape technologies, both materially and symbolically, even after these technologies enter into common use.Expand
Writing in a milieu of utility: the move to technical communication in american engineering programs, 1850-1950, 2nd ed. [Book Review]
  • M. Zimmerman
  • Engineering
  • IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
  • 2001
Book Publisher: Stamford, CT: Ablex, 2000. 134 pp. with index. Teresa C. Kynell has written a detailed history of technical communication as an academic subject in the curriculum of engineeringExpand
Central Works in Technical Communication
  • J. Mackiewicz
  • Engineering
  • IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
  • 2004
Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber’s purpose in their collection of essays, Central Works in Technical Communication, is to map the profession of technical communication and to introduce theExpand