Session 3 Summaries – 25 January 2014

Jobs/job search: How to break into a new industry; portfolios and how to construct them

  • How to break into a new Industry: portfolio and how to construct them who should be technical writers?
  • Is this a growth industry? Some lucrative, domain, gaming well-paying profession goes with the level of the industry.
  • Program graduate looking for more experience
  • Traditional Tech shop how to transition into new direction
  • What teams need to know or different skill sets
  • Recruit, Andrew Davis in Silicon Family what skills are applicable, think, create relevant content understand proper Audience
  • how Portfolios are created and accessible.
  • Media concepts Video Portfolio
  • Should be online, Phone interview
  • All content, linkedin membership
  • Examples, show context need to specify, limit liability, project over weeks
  • University work how to frame work
  • Disclaimer: to what would you have done differently. How am I better. Before/After work, Redline critical eye important need to be careful, redact, use x replace content with fake
  • State the problem objective, how did you create, 2 to 3 pages concise, table of contents glossary, written for different users, showing range don’t give too much proprietary information.
  • E-learning for Video content, training make companies, structure instructional classes
  • former manger, publisher, transition into project manager.
  • Bio-tech 20 – below mark pay
  • IT and Engineering Department where to start
  • Marketing has money now
  • Technical background important
  • Hide information, make content cover letter these jobs, take skills to new job
  • Grad. School technical writers information interview SDC contribute Silicon Valley SDC San Jose, meet on Monday Jan. 27 (more focus on certification is needed). Content meta data specialist. Technical Content Manager. Use screen shots of work need to be careful. ‘Content Audit’ important concept. Start as a consultant ask Jas, information
  • Joanne Lasselle good contact
  • People working on changing careers, c-suite valued
  • Hot market, Big Data, Mobile
  • Open source
  • Great documentation, very detailed and sophisticated astounding pay to use wikis, markdown, open source (not non profit)
  • Regulated work in companies, content similar in other companies.
  • How to Break into a New Industry
  • Link SV
  • Venture capital
  • Seed level
  • Linked into list
  • Help preparing presentations
  • Help engineer to ??
  • Collaborate with new companies, companies need help with skill set, buy $10 a day. 1,000 characters on what company does
  • Start ups don’t know what to do. Big opportunity 17 categories, for us to break into partnership
  • Humor, Politics, all professional work
  • At URL: Personal Interests not good liability, not important. Never include personal, Health you volunteer.
  • Age discrimination no clues to location, do Region Don’t live in area, don’t put City Ghost phone number for area New York, New York area code.

For more information

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Deciding what goes into a doc or mobile version of an enterprise software app

This session had no attendees, see notes on go mobile discussion.

Documenting APIs

Scribe: Karen Aidi

  • REST APIs, 3rd parties can
  • What does good API look like? Is there a common standard? No – it’s all over the map.  Take a look at the programmable web for examples. What are consumers of APIs looking for?
  • Programmers seem to want to scroll endlessly instead of clicking of API doc.
  • Click insanity – Brandon Phillips backs up this point of view.
  • Depends on what code you have to document
  • Does the writer need to be a programmer to write code samples? No, not necessarily.
  • Many job descriptions seem to want writers to write code samples.

Tom Johnson actually does write JavaScript code examples.  However, he writes very simple examples.  Joanne Grey uses a USB recorder that creates an MP3 file and then she listens to it over and over again.  Some writers leverage their existing code.  There are classes on APIs,; Jim Bisso is giving a workshop on it.  Google code review can be open source explorer tool: Swagger used for doc review purposes. Don’t use JSON; you can transform.

Are there any strategies in creating code samples? It helps to be able to run the tool yourself. Is there a code reviewer tool? Twitter has well written API documentation template structure and uses no tech writers.  Many companies have a notion of private versus public APIs. It is, therefore, possible to turn API documentation into a formulaic structure.  It’s important to leverage code samples from company blogs, etc.  it is surprising that there are not more classes in API documentation. Write the docs conference à this is a conference for developers to encourage other developers to write.  Look at query. What are some of the best practices? Look at Google, twitter, QA is a great help in figuring how. Twillo is a good example to look at.

Metadata and categorization strategies

Scribe: Richard mateosian

  • Around the table:
  • Lufkin: sit in. interested. Stuff on computer categorized
  • Luke Lyons: reuse graphics – can’t because graphics folder is under individual doc.
  • Tom Magliery: 30K photos in folder – not so good. Tool doesn’t do it. Looking for best practices.
  • Doug may – proofing since young. Doesn’t want to reproof. Wants tool that helps training.
  • Susan aged – does tagging on user community
  • Gwaltney Mountford – navigate while aggregating reports
  • Lori cookie – using SharePoint.  Wants to find stuff.
  • Robin smith – works with Luke. Took course from librarian.  Looking at what users might ask. How would you organize refrigerator
  • Tom – hierarchy doesn’t work. Need metadata to find stuff.
  • Luke – use CMS and metadata
  • Tom – Dublin core – standard for categorizing (OCLC led design)
  • Luke – different searchers have different needs
  • Gwaltney – categorize for reports.  Tagging, not hierarchy, but implement hierarchy with copies
  • Luke – 9/16 screw – can use in lots of places. Have to decide on granularity.  Might have trouble with synonyms.
  • Lufkin – resource mgmt vs. content mgmt.
  • Doug – use checkboxes vs. text in summary field.
  • Luke – many ways to capture same thing – big spreadsheet plus eyeballing.  Problem with checkboxes – too many with unique names.  Need categories.  Something like Dewey decimal system
  • Gwaltney – geography organized bookstore
  • Lufkin – beauty of metadata – separates categorization from storage hierarchy
  • Tom – filtering
  • Luke – Google search.. may not catch cup vs. mug vs. beverage delivery system
  • Doug – metadata also good for process – ensure all boxes checked.

Taking your content strategy to rest of org

Scribe: Julie Phaviseth

explained user scenarios with limitations and solutions

  1. How do content to people locked in bank – give embedded help
  2. How to provide help to people who can google – give video demos
  3. Enterprise shared content between groups – give “cadillac” of docs

For example

  • Techpubs placed with support and training – how to give info to everyone. Post-sales/pre-sales
  • Think of roles and give appropriate amount of information e.g. don’t overwhelm  sales with technical detail and don’t give sales into technical people.
  • Can also give access to everything and letting people filter info for themselves.
  • Define audiences and build deliverables for them out of content
  • Example: evaluation guide taking, info from installation guide but provided into about configuring for example scenario
  • Limited scenario to guide users through evaluation
  • Example, Illumina used MadCap to let scientists specify what they want to do and create document
  • Confluence Wiki – good for sharing info internally for projects but not mature enough to handle content management like single sourcing, multiversioning without use of third-party plugin

Educational tools

  • Sharepoint – have to educate company on what to share, how to place it so it can be found by others and find values
  • Implementation – how it changes how write online help, link to content, what users expect. translation saved is big driver.
  • Have to be persistent in enforcing your content tools and strategy. Especially with new hires. Changes use case . finding requirements. Different needs.
  • Need process for ideas to change process with governing council to decide how to implement and it should be implemented.
  • Customers feedback – doc feedback, reps to user conferences, survey, talk to supporting customer reps onsite to test tool. customer given scenarios to walk through.

Improving search

Facilitator: Tracy Baker

Scribe: Guy K. Haas

  • Tracy is her company’s information architect
  • Level of expertise? Light
  • First instinct: go to Google
  • Use ?? like site:
  • Priority (for Google) goes to H1 content
  • Metadata field of PDF
  • Include audience in search <> need tags on content
  • Study of Taxonomy
  • Take your doc’s words and feed it to a word cloud tool to see what the big-count words are.
  • PDFs are search-opaque – to make them findable, you need to enter metadata into the properties
  • (If document is being localized, should the metadata info be translated for search?)