The pros and cons of using Markdown
Passo uno
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2w ago
A few days ago I had an interesting conversation on the pros and cons of Markdown for technical documentation with Ed Marsh (Goldman Sachs) and Eric Holscher (Read the Docs) in a webinar hosted by Scott Abel (The Content Wrangler). Here are some of the things I said during the webinar, transcribed and edited for clarity ..read more
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Technical writing in 2049
Passo uno
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1M ago
A month ago, Lana Novikova to imagine the future of software documentation. What will software technical writing look like in, say, 2049, when our profession will be a century old? Will we be writing markup in git repositories or use ÜberDITA in space? Will our job still exist? I’ve put my futurist hat on to picture the shape of our profession 25 years from now. Buckle up ..read more
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What to do when you're feeling AI anxiety as a tech writer
Passo uno
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2M ago
Some technical writers in my network are genuinely worried about their professional future in the AI age. Will large language models take my job Are we going to be replaced by GPT , they ask in meetups and community forums. My short answer is “No”. My longer answer is “No, unless you reject the benefits of LLMs”. For my complete answer, keep reading this post ..read more
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Signs that you need a technical writer
Passo uno
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3M ago
Tips for hiring your first technical writer , some readers kindly suggested to follow up with a post covering the previous step in the tech writing journey, that is, the that one needs a technical writer. As there seems to be a strong appetite for this kind of content, I’m going to spend some words to list what I think are the most egregious signs that your team, company, or product requires a technical writer (or a tech writing team ..read more
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Docs observability, or measuring docs inside a product-docs system
Passo uno
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3M ago
As technical writers we want to know if the docs we’re writing are accomplishing their goals. In other words, we want to know how good are docs relative to the business goals they’re aiming to support or improve. Are docs serving their purpose? Which of are docs supporting? When tech bubbles burst, roles usually seen as cost centers, such as tech writing, are ripe for layoffs, no matter how staunchly we defend them. That’s why we continue mulling over the question of value and ..read more
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What tech writers can learn from video game manuals
Passo uno
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4M ago
I’m not only a technical writer and an avid collector of : I’m also a gamer. One of the bits I always enjoyed about video games were the manuals, from the slim booklets that accompanied arcade games to the hefty guides that helped build virtual worlds in our heads while we waited for a few kilobytes to load in memory. Those manuals still hold valuable lessons for the software documentation we write today ..read more
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Tips for hiring your first technical writer
Passo uno
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5M ago
Every once in a while, startup founders and managers decide that they need someone to create and manage their docs –perhaps after reading . Some contact me to understand how they should go about hiring for a tech writer. Since I’ve already published tips for job hunting as a tech writer , I thought it would be a good idea to write down some advice for the other side, too. Here are my recommendations for software companies wanting to hire their first technical writer ..read more
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My favorite tech writing tools
Passo uno
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6M ago
the gear I use at work . Here’s my list of favorite software tools for technical writing, the ones I couldn’t do without in my day-to-day routine. They mostly apply to a docs-as-code, software documentation setting. Notice that I’m not listing docs generators or markup languages on purpose, as we seldom get to choose them ..read more
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Chat with Tom Johnson about AI and tech comms
Passo uno
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6M ago
(idratherbewriting.com) about AI and its impact on technical writing and documentation. Along the way, we also had the chance of discussing open source docs and the challenge of being a first-time contributor ..read more
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Bestiary: On Doc Types and Other Animals
Passo uno
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7M ago
Of documentation many are the kinds throughout the web—unnumbered, since no writer can count their multitudes, nor rightly learn the ways of their wild nature; wide they roam, these patterns, as far as Internet sets. Let me, o reader, speak of these bewitching creatures, for in the end all content types are chimeras, and those who work to reduce their number are doomed to fail ..read more
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