The parson mug prize draw #6

Travelling is fun but can be exhausting. That‘s why the parson mug decided to spend a few days on the beach. more ...

A year in London. I am not just missing my sock

May I present Parsons Green in London? I think it's a perfect name for a London parson branch. That branch is not planned yet, but a bit of parson is actually in London at the moment. Me. more ...

Recommend+To? A Clear Recommendation

In technical documentation, we avoid recommendations. They rarely help the reader: The producer recommends ultra-light power cells. Why? What happens if I use others? more ...

iiRDS – How a Novice Sees the Information Delivery Standard

Lately, the newly developed tekom standard iiRDS has gained quite some attention. The next exciting step will be the release of version 1.0, which will be released soon. Requesting and delivering intelligent information as a standardized approach between individual enterprises is a pioneering step in the Internet of Things – but let’s rewind a little. more ...

Pets at the office. Part I: Molly

The atmosphere at our office is always good, but when Molly is there, it gets even better. Molly is good for us. more ...

"Write the Docs" Impressions

On July 19 and 20, I joined the Berlin Unconference “Write the Docs”. I had not attended an event with open-space sessions and lighting talks before and did not know what to expect.

Turned out I was nearly the only one from Berlin. Also, few technical writers attended. Hardly anyone spoke German as most participants were from other European countries. All were in the software development business, among them many software engineers who specialize in writing software developer documentation. The discussions focussed on technical writing issues, but also on topics like “how to build a community”, “human testing of documentation”, or “smart documentation”. I found it exciting to see how differently tech writers and software engineers approach these topics. Sometimes software engineers try to reinvent the wheel because they are not familiar with the technical writing paradigms. But they make up for it: They are target-oriented and think outside the box.

Everyone was surprised when I told them about the largest European conference on technical documentation, the annual tekom conference.  During a lighting talk I spontaneously invited all of them to attend that conference and meet the technical writing community. In fact, I wish there was more exchange between tech writers and software engineers about developer documentation, API documentation, and documentation systems. Both sides could learn a great deal from each other.

I would love to attend a similar event again. But next time, I’ll take some tech writers along.

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