Interview: Hasse Changed Theater Scripts to Technical Information

Hasse Carlsson. Photo credit: Anna-Karin Hulth

Hasse Carlsson has worked as a dramaturge for over 30 years, mainly at Folkteatern in Gothenburg. He has a feel for language and likes to play with words. For a long time, he wanted to combine his passion for language with his interest in technology. The role of an information engineer was the perfect match.

Hasse, over a year ago you made a radical change in your career and started your journey of becoming a technical writer. Can you share with us what motivated you to switch? Why did you choose technical information?

The decision to change my professional path came to me gradually. I liked my work, but I wanted to try something new. I am curious as a person, and I felt that there were more challenges out there for me.

I decided to try learning something new and see if technical writing was something that suited my interests. After a rather short while, as I got immersed in learning about language and technology, I noticed that I got hooked.

What was the most challenging during education and your internship practice as a technical writer?

In the beginning, I was not familiar with studying online on my own, but I got used to it rather quickly. I had interactions with my classmates and after a while, our digital classroom felt natural, almost like a real one.

We had classes, lectures, and time for our own projects. Sigma Technology’s representatives Ulla Einarsson and Jan-Erik Åberg were teaching for the Hermods course in technical writing. During the course, I got a chance to come to Sigma Technology’s office for a study visit. The friendly atmosphere with people from so many parts of the world, also made me want to do my internship/LIA-practice at Sigma Technology.

During my internship/LIA-practice, we worked a lot with study material and recruitment writing tests. We took part in developing templates and guidelines for language check. My internship gave me valuable experience and an inside look at a technical writing office as a workplace.

The challenge and the exciting part about technical information is that you need to describe something in a way so that no one can misunderstand. It sounds easy, but just give it a try, and you will see that it is a quite tricky task.

Hasse Carlsson

Does your experience as a dramaturge help you in your new role?

As a dramaturge, you get to work a lot with texts. You analyze, translate, and discuss them, and you see them come to life at the rehearsals. This is what I find similar to being a technical writer. I have a good understanding of how to create effective, easy-to-read, well-structured texts. But the area is completely different, of course.

Even if you think that theater is something traditional, I actually find a lot of similarities between how we work Agile here at Sigma Technology and how we worked in our team at Regionteater Väst. We used other words when we talked about it, but we were definitely working in cross-functional teams, flexible in our processing, and adjusting to the environment and audience’s needs.

However, when you work in theater, you are always in the same context and environment. Everything concentrates around one place – actors, audience, and press. Here at Sigma Technology, I have some colleagues working in Shanghai, some in Hungary, and the rest around Sweden. Clients can have offices in even more other countries around the world.

Your career development is an inspiration to many. Did you have second thoughts about your new choice, any insecurities? And how do you feel about it now?

When I started studying, I thought, “What is the worst thing that can happen? In the worst case, I would find this new area boring.” But I have never had to worry about it. I think that this is the combination of language and technology that fascinates and interests me in technical writing.

Technology changes the way we travel, plan our days, and communicate with each other. I find it very exciting to be a part of this development and experience it from backstage. I especially like to have colleagues with this mix of different nationalities and experiences. I’m getting new perspectives on well-known things around me, and it feels fantastic. I say, go ahead and try new things!

Read the interview with Hasse in the Swedish magazine Byt Chef 50+.