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Month: March 2016

Guest post at Authentic Engine blog

Guest post at Authentic Engine blog

I have a guest post up today at Authentic Engine. Using your “whiskers” to detect disruptions Authentic Engine is a consultancy based on emotionally smart management and fostering workplace inclusivity and team emotional safety.

The Cardinal Virtues? of Technical Writing

The Cardinal Virtues? of Technical Writing

First, a disclaimer: Medium served me this article, but it’s a year old. Weird. Nonetheless, I have things to say about the content. The Virtues of Technical Writing, by a pseudonymous writer Introduction They are gleaned from a Bachelor of Science degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota’s Writing Studies Department,…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview

The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview

This is a series derived from my popular talk “The Seven Righteous Fights”. It’s not an exact transcript, but I think having a written form to refer people to greatly increases accessibility and gives me room to expand my thoughts in a way that is not compatible with speaking. There are seven fights that I…

Contract additions

Contract additions

Last year, I signed 4 contracts for work-for-hire. I estimate that will be average-to-low going forward, but I don’t have enough data points. Every time I work with a company, I come up with something I want to remember to specify for the next time, or at least attempt to negotiate for. Summary: Work-for-hire does…

The three documents you ACTUALLY need first

The three documents you ACTUALLY need first

Because I work as only-writer for so much of my time, I forget that I’m not just a lone technical writer, and I’m not just an indie, but I’m in an odd category beyond that. Because no one who hires me really knows what a technical writer does, interviewing is often turned on its head…

Search-First Writing for Non-Writers (Open Source Bridge, 2013)

Search-First Writing for Non-Writers (Open Source Bridge, 2013)

If people can’t use your software, you have already failed as a developer. This talk digs in to how optimizing for search and using the existing technical assistance forums can put your product ahead of the pack. Technical writing, in all its variations, is a type of interface with your product. It incorporates everything from…

Search-First Documentation: Tags and Keywords for Frustrated Users (Write the Docs, 2013)

Search-First Documentation: Tags and Keywords for Frustrated Users (Write the Docs, 2013)

If people can’t use your software, you have already failed as a developer. This talk digs in to how optimizing for search and using the existing technical assistance forums can put your product ahead of the pack. Technical writing, in all its variations, is a type of interface with your product. It incorporates everything from…

Success Is More Than Not-Failing (Write the Docs, 2015)

Success Is More Than Not-Failing (Write the Docs, 2015)

We talk a lot about minimum viable products, and building our products up from small features. We talk a lot about failure, and how to learn from it and not replicate failures over and over again. But what I haven’t heard a lot of discussion about is how we know we’ve succeeded. Is it market…

Cassandra at the Keyboard: Whistleblowing at All Scales (Open Source Bridge, 2015)

Cassandra at the Keyboard: Whistleblowing at All Scales (Open Source Bridge, 2015)

Cassandra was a prophetess doomed to be accurate, but never believed. In my role as a technical writer, I often have the information needed to make useful observations about development processes, communication problems, and other organizational troubles. The problem is getting people in power to agree with and act on the information I present. This…

Digital Sandwich Generation: Women’s Roles In Identity Management For Others (Alterconf Chicago, 2015)

Digital Sandwich Generation: Women’s Roles In Identity Management For Others (Alterconf Chicago, 2015)

I don’t know of any parenting books that tell you how to choose baby’s first handle. I don’t know of any self-help books that tell you how to help your parents create a digital estate plan. Both of these scenarios and many more are falling to the people who have always been responsible for maintaining…

Upcoming appearances

Velocity Berlin
Minneapolis DevOps Meetup
DeliveryConf

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