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Soft Skills of a Technical Writer

What soft skills should technical writers have when they start their career? Linguistic and technical understanding is important in our profession. So are the soft skills - just like in any other job. more ...

RDF is not XML – RDF serialization and iiRDS metadata

The world of technical writing loves XML. Its document type definitions are the foundation of structured authoring. XML and the underlying schemas structure the content of our information products. The benefits are twofold. Content is consistently structured and easy to read. Authors have an easier time writing the content. The structure provides guidelines for authoring. more ...

How to become a technical writer – Confessions of a former translator

A former translator, I worked the first seven years of my professional life in the translation industry, in various positions. While I learned a lot from this experience, it also left me, as a writer, frustrated. Translators are chained to their source text and writing the words of others in another language, usually focusing on what their clients want. more ...

tekom impressions part 2: API documentation and the VUKA world

Daniela Herbold and Ulrike Parson write about better API documentation and solutions for innovative human resources management. more ...

Impressions from tcworld 2017

Part 1: Improvisation, fluff hunt, and videos for technical documentation. more ...

Developing Software on a Beer Mat

I just learned that our workshop "Developing software on a Beer Mat" at the annual tekom conference in Wiesbaden is already fully booked. The tekom organizers made another time slot available, so that more people can participate. What is going on? I have had the most horrible nightmares seeing myself on a big stage watch the only three people in the audience fall asleep. Or worse: leave.

Maybe most of the people who registered just read the word “beer”?

Well, it’s not about beer. It’s about user stories. About agile software development. About Scrum. And how software developers and technical writers can benefit from it. Because Scrum does not use lengthy functional specifications anymore. In Scrum we write our requirements as short user stories that could easily fit on a beer mat. But not only are these user stories brief. They are independent and self-contained. Perfectly fitted for a user manual. Don’t believe it?  Read Developing Software on a Beer Mat. User Stories for Documentation and Development.

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