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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 ...

Kiss & fly and a loose screw. Report COMTecnica 2016

What happens when Swabians and Italians organize a Techkomm conference together? This year’s COMTecnica took place in Bologna, Italy, from May 11-12.

On the first day, the atmosphere was Mediterranean-style relaxed. Because, first things first. Right after registration, the participants headed to the breakfast room and then almost missed the first conference session. The Italian partner organization Com&Tec is like a family. People know each other and used the opportunity to share news.On the second day, Swabian punctuality took over. Everyone was on time for lunch at the hotel restaurant.

Comtecnica2016 napsor mockupMy DITA workshop „Relax, just do it!“ was meant for advanced DITA users. But even though the participants had great interest in DITA, few had worked with XML in general or with DITA in particular. No wonder the atmosphere in the room stiffened when I started talking about document type shells, structural modules, and domain attribute contributions. The audience relaxed when I showed them the Napsor app example doc and a cute cat photo.

After the workshop, tekom director Michael Fritz told me that I had got a loose screw. He pointed at the screw that had miraculously moved from my laptop computer over to the beamer cord. I am sure that our IT guys will love that one.

When the conference was over, I took a taxi to the airport. There is a new service, called Kiss & Fly: ten minutes free parking to say good-buy to your loved ones. I got lucky. The taxi driver let me go without a kiss.

Tags: DITA

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