We look at delivering technical documentation via an API.
It’s not quite 2018 yet, but here are our predictions for technical communication in 2018 and beyond. We also look back at the predictions we made for 2017.
Flickr image by byronv2
We look at the tools used by technical communicators for editing and reviewing content.
We look at some of the best books to read on technical writing.
Single Sourcing, Kurt Ament
Ron Blicq and Lisa Moretto
Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel, John Carroll
Lean for Practitioners, Mark Eaton
Managing Your Documentation Projects, JoAnn Hackos
Information Development, JoAnn Hackos
Modern Technical Writing, Andrew Etter
Docs Like Code, Anne Gentle
Current Practices and Trends in Technical and Professional Communication, Stephen Crabbe
The Language of Technical Communication, Ray Gallon
The Language of Content Srategy, Rahel Bailie
Every Page is Page One, Mark Baker
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Al Sweigart
Don't Make me Think, Steve Krug
Rocket Surgery Made Easy, Steve Krug
Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits, Rahel Bailie and Noz Urbina
Content Design, Sarah Richards
We explore these questions from listeners:
- What’s your opinion of Zendesk and Mindtouch? Someone in our company thinks it might be a good idea to explore the idea of moving our Help content – have you heard of anyone doing this and then using it in a way of single sourcing etc?
- Our boss wants us to consider the idea of merging our Help content and our “Knowledge base” which is like articles/support troubleshooting etc. Whether this is our content going into the knowledge base or vice versa, we’re not sure in terms of direction. Do you have any opinions on merging article-based content like this into a Help Authoring tool or Help content into a “normal” website like that?
Interview with Anne Gentle, author of Docs Like Code and Product Manager at Cisco.
Interview by Ellis Pratt, Cherryleaf
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
- What is docs as code?
- Why do it?
- When might this approach might be applicable?
- The limitations
- Docs like code in development sprints
- Is it only for developer docs?
- Do you you need to understand programming?
- Why did you self publish?
- The benefits of taking this approach
- The future developments
- Automating document builds
Links to topics mentioned:
http://codewerdz.org/ Repository analytics for code and docs
Solr (Search Engine)
Why we use a ‘docs as code’ approach for technical documentation Jen Lambourne, GDS, GOV.UK
Interview with David Farbey of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, about training, accreditation and CPD in technical communication.
- Becoming a technical communicator is different from becoming a lawyer, doctor, developer or an accountant in that, in the UK, there is no standard career path from school. How does that affect the profession and starting a career?
- What training, if any, do you need to be a technical communicator?
- The ISTC's Professional Development and Recognition
- Certifying technical communicators
- The ISTC certified courses.
- What does a undergraduate or post-graduate course offer someone?
- Where does CPD fit into this?
- What are we likely to see in the future with regards to training and certification?
Cherryleaf's ISTC accredited training course: https://www.cherryleaf.com/training/technical-author-basicinduction-training-course/
ISTC website: www.istc.org.uk
David's email: email@example.com
It seems likely artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-driven chatbots will play a key role in helping users in the future. So what does this mean for technical communicators and for User Assistance?
Part 1 - What are chatbots?
Part 2 - Making a chatbot
Part 3 - What does this mean for technical communicators and for User Assistance?
About the speaker
Ellis Pratt is a Director at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services and training company based near London.
He has over 20 years of experience working in the field of documentation, has a BA in Business Studies, and is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Ellis is contributor to two books on technical communication. He is also on the management council for the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC), the professional body for technical communicators in the UK.
Robot image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robot-clip-art-book-covers-feJCV3-clipart.png From From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.
We look at the findings from the Cherryleaf survey of European technical communicators.
Some advice on presenting at conferences.
The UK Parliament is one of the oldest organisations in the world. So how do you deliver a strategy to a body that has over 700 years of content? Cherryleaf's Ellis Pratt interviewed Rosie Hatton, Strategy Digital Lead at the Parliamentary Digital Service, to find out.
- What is Parliament? 1'56"
- The content Parliament creates. 3'38"
- What is the PDS? 5'08"
- The I AM PARLIAMENT programme. 9'00"
- The PDS's digital strategy framework, its assumptions and principles. 10'18"
- Having an open and agile digital culture in a traditional organisation. 13'08
- Working in a continuous interative process. 20'45"
- Sharing ideas with the Government Digital Service. 25'24"
- Where does the PDS's content strategy fit within its digital strategy? 28'22"
- Tracking the impact of changes to laws on other laws. 37'01"
- The similarities between PDS and Open Source software projects. 41'55"
- Crowdsourcing a digital strategy. 43'30"
- Benefits management. 44'00"
- How to manage and sell change. 47'50"
https://khub.net/ (knowledge hub)