One thing I would suggest is to know your audience and your characters. For example, if you're writing from the perspective of a particular character (either first-person or third-person limited), then you want the following:
- Your readers to identify with that character in some way, and
- That character's thoughts, words, and actions, to correspond with his or her technical knowledge.
So, if you're writing from a perspective of a character without a professional background in a particular area, then:
- You're not expecting your readers to have that background either.
- You can use that character's thoughts, words, and actions to help interpret the technical gobbledygook of other characters or objects.
That way, readers don't feel left out, or if they do, they know that the character with whom they're sharing a perspective feels similarly left out. I think the most problematic situation is when readers feel like they're supposed to know what some technical term means, but they don't. Then they feel alienated and become disinterested.
I recently read The Martian and appreciated how the author Andy Weir handled technical content. For one, the main character Mark has a somewhat technical background, proficient in some areas but not in others. When Mark uses this knowledge, Weir has Mark work through the steps in his head. Doing this helps the reader learn about the thought process of the character, and it also guides the reader through the technical content.
In other situations, when Mark is less familiar with some technical aspects, then the reader feels like he or she is learning along with Mark. Again, this helps create a connection between the reader and the character.
Lastly, I appreciated that all the technical details in the book were well thought out and well researched. I stopped reading a couple of times to look up things mentioned in the book (particularly the radioisotope thermoelectric generator) to see if they were real and learned about how they worked.
Obviously, something set in a fantasy or far-future science fiction world will deal with fictitious technology that readers can't look up on Wikipedia, but I think it's important to keep some sense of realism, at least internally to your world if not outside it.