TCUK19 Speaker Ellis Pratt – Let’s make a podcast!

Ellis Pratt will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Let’s make a podcast”.

We’ll look at the podcasts that can help you in your technical communication career. We’ll also look at how we make the Cherryleaf Podcast, and how you could create a podcast of your own.

Furthermore, we will create an episode for that podcast, asking some of the delegates about their experience at the conference – what they learnt, what they liked, what they will do after the conference.

About Ellis Pratt

Ellis Pratt is a Consulting Technical Communicator and Director at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services company. He has been working in technical communication since the early 1990s. He has a degree in Business Studies, and is a member of organisations such as the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the ISTC Management Council. Ellis was a contributor to two books: Current Practices and Trends in Technical Communication, and The Language of Technical Communication.

TCUK19 Speaker Ellis Pratt – What skills will technical communicators need for the upcoming years?

Ellis Pratt will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “What skills will technical communicators need for the upcoming years?”.

The ways organisations support end users has changed over time. This is because new technologies emerge, products change, and users become more confident in using technology on a daily basis. We’ll look at how User Assistance is likely to change, and the skills technical communicators may need to have in the near future. We’ll also look at how Designers are facing similar issues, and how they are adapting.

About Ellis Pratt

Ellis Pratt is a Consulting Technical Communicator and Director at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services company. He has been working in technical communication since the early 1990s. He has a degree in Business Studies, and is a member of organisations such as the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the ISTC Management Council. Ellis was a contributor to two books: Current Practices and Trends in Technical Communication, and The Language of Technical Communication.

TCUK19 Speaker George Bakalios – Making the most of challenging situations or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Challenge

George Bakalios will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Making the most of challenging situations or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Challenge”.

 

In the fast pacing world of technology nothing remains the same for a long time. New challenges come up every day and work can become overwhelming very easily. In this presentation I will talk about how one can embrace the challenges, see the positive side of them, and how this can develop the individual’s skills and boost their careers. I will be using my personal journey as an example and how the various challenges I faced over the years proved to be opportunities and equipped me with the skills to progress my career.

About George Bakalios

George comes from an Electrical and Computer Engineering background having studied at both the University of Patras and UCL. He started his career in Athens working as a Documentation Specialist for Nokia Siemens Networks before moving to Cambridge to be a Technical Author at Arm. After a few years working on a number of Arm CPU projects, in 2018 George took the role of a Senior Manager in Technical Communications leading a very diverse team of Information Developers spread throughout the globe.

TCUK19 Speaker Joaquim Baptista – Inspire with Comics (Workshop)

Joaquim Baptista will be giving a TCUK19 workshop on “Inspire with Comics”.

Successful software products accumulate features over time, becoming more complex and harder to explain.
When complex products are combined with staff turnover, knowledge of product features erodes over time, and the software products are used below their potential.

Comics can teach staff how to recognize the situations that products solve, as a starting point for further exploration of documentation and user interfaces.

After the workshop, the participants should be able to:

* Identify good comics.
* Identify people stories behind product features.
* Craft insightful comics to explain product features.
* Explain products with coordinated sets of comics.

About Joaquim Baptista

Currently working at Farfetch, Joaquim has documented large and evolving software products that require industrial writing processes instead of just writing craftsmanship, since 1997.

In 2014, Joaquim adopted comics as a way to quickly introduce product features to new users, or to add insight to training lessons. Later, Joaquim adopted comics to show how users experience a product, and to explain the many problems solved by a larger company.

Before tackling documentation, Joaquim worked as trainer, programmer, system administrator, and academic researcher.

TCUK19 Speaker George Bina – Docs as Code and DITA

George Bina will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Docs as Code and DITA”

Treating Documentation as Code and using similar tools as developers is a trend known as “Docs as Code” that gained a lot of adoption in the recent years. “Docs as Code” approach is usually associated with source formats like Markdown, Asciidoc while DITA is associated with a heavy, old, monolithic CMS, as if DITA implies that CMS. In reality, this is not the case, DITA is a perfect fit for “Docs as Code” solutions and it is actually used as such in a number of projects. It provides also many advantages like semantic tagging, built-in reuse functionality, validation frameworks for both structure and business rules and more.

About George Bina

George Bina is one of the founders of Syncro Soft, the company that develops oXygen XML suite of XML editing, authoring, development, publishing and collaboration tools. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with XML and related technologies, bringing many innovative ideas to reality and contributing to XML-related open-source projects.

He presented at many XML, DITA, and technical communication conferences, giving passionate presentations and challenging the technological status quo, trying to get the audience to think outside the box, and re-imagine the future.

TCUK19 Speaker Charlotte Claussen – When correct and complete is not enough – how to give users reassurance (Workshop)

Charlotte Claussen will be giving a TCUK19 workshop on “When correct and complete is not enough – how to give users reassurance”.

Even when we deliver correct and complete information, we can still leave our users in a state where they feel insecure and find their tasks difficult.

In this workshop we will discuss what can make users insecure, for example inconsistency, assumptions of what the product is meant to do, or lack of context. We will look at concrete examples to spot potential triggers of insecurity, and we will discuss how we can make changes that can give the users the reassurance they need.

Examples for exercise will be provided, but I also encourage you to send examples of your own. Due to security requirements, digital materials must be sent to TCUK 3 weeks before the conference.

About Charlotte Claussen

Charlotte is a technical writer with experience from start-up-agency, and corporate environments. She has always been interested in how people know what to do with stuff, and why they sometimes get it wrong. She currently works for Cisco, excited about the enterprise challenge of reducing cognitive load for users while meeting the requests of customers.

TCUK19 Speaker George Lewis – How to publish your docs every 10 seconds like Amazon

George Lewis will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “How to publish your docs every 10 seconds like Amazon“.

The traditional documentation approval and release cycle doesn’t fit with products that use continuous integration. I mean, Amazon updates their products every 10 seconds (ok 11.7s)!! How can they possibly have time to compile HTML in a desktop publishing tool and then publish? 

 “Docs as code” arose out of the need to align documentation processes with code development processes. So the approach has been driven by developers and DevOps teams to use the tools they already have such as simple text-based authoring with Markdown or ASCIi doc combined with static site generators.

 But this was not enough, so now we have developer portals tools such as Readme.io and APIary. Does this mean there is no place for the powerful DTP tools we are comfortable with such as MadCap Flare or FrameMaker?

 In this presentation we will look at the docs as code workflows and tools, and see how a feature-rich DTP package like MadCap Flare can be used.

To find out more, click here to read related articles by George.

About George Lewis

George heads up the Service Delivery team at 3di. Having started his career in tech comm nearly 20 years ago in Germany, George has served his time as a writer of documents as well as a consultant helping organisations automate their documentation workflows.

 George is passionate about developing the people and processes necessary to bring tech comms into the 21st century.

 

TCUK19 Speaker Liz Gregory – Sign says 10 miles to Bognor Regis – signposting your help content

Liz Gregory will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Sign says 10 miles to Bognor Regis – signposting your help content“.

Signposting gives us information. Go this way, stop here, expect deer on the road. This is as important in help content as it is on our roads. All users start somewhere, need to know where they are, and have a destination in mind. Are they in the right place? Where else should they be?

 If you’re a newbie, or more used to printed manuals, this presentation will help you signpost your help content. This paragraph is a navigational aid – it tells you whether you’re looking at the right presentation for your needs. Would it have been more useful at the top? Let’s find out!

About Liz Gregory

Liz Gregory MISTC is the sole technical author at tvONE and writes about commercial AV hardware and software. She has a background in chemistry and education and is a champion of user-first content. Liz’s current big project is raising a wonderful daughter while continuing to be the sole author supporting 500 products. She’s learned a lot about juggling deadlines, priorities, and being organised: plan, plan, plan, and always carry a contingency nappy. She is a dedicated member of the Thames Valley ISTC group, and enjoys knitting, web comics, and ball pits.

TCUK19 Speaker Mark Monaghan – It started at 10 – how technical communication guides us through life

Mark Monaghan will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “It started at 10 – how technical communication guides us through life”.

Technical communication sets up our expectations for learning from a young age. This session highlights some of the familiar and some unexpected places one person experienced the fruits of our profession, and suggests how the lessons from these early encounters can continue to inform the documentation process throughout a career.

 

About Mark Monaghan

After a meandering career including TEFL, mechanics, and coaching, Mark completed a degree in Astrophysics at Maynooth University. It was here that he wrote his first technical document, after getting frustrated with verbally explaining to each individual in the class how to fix a particular bug in the virtual machine with the image reduction software. He now works at a fintech company.

TCUK19 Speaker Michael Bergstrom – Ten STE Myths Busted

Michael Bergstrom will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Ten STE Myths Busted”.

This presentation draws on some of the material written in Mike’s article “The Great STE Myth”, published in the Winter 2018 edition of Communicator. It tackles the inaccurate hype surrounding Simplified Technical English, exposing ten of the myths that are continually propagated in an attempt to keep this controlled language alive. Mike’s view is that STE is a standard that has failed miserably to find its way out of its aircraft maintenance procedure niche and should be best avoided as far as possible in favour of Plain English. “Writing STE is like writing with a pair of boxing gloves on” he claims. This presentation is bound to create some fireworks and ruffle some feathers of STE proponents, but one of Mike’s self-proclaimed hobbies is ruffling feathers.

About Michael Bergstrom

Mike Bergstrom started his career as a graduate Electrical & Electronic engineer in 1983. He has worked in design, development, applications and product management in many electrical/electronic engineering disciplines including IC design, high power analogue design, computer hardware and communications. He has been a technical translator and technical writer for the last 25 years, most of it as a freelance technical author/documentation consultant. When it comes to technical writing, he has seen it all. Mike currently works at Elekta as a technical author team leader. He considers himself an engineer who can write, rather than a writer who can engineer.

TCUK19 Speaker Andrea Flolid – What’s on Second?

Andrea Flolid will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “What’s on Second?”.

As a follow-up to last year’s presentation, Who’s on First, I will advance to second base and cover What’s on Second. Once you have completed audience analysis, the next step is to identify what your customers need to know.

I plan to use my increased involvement with our Customer Success team to move from Audience Analysis (who) to Content Development (what). My presentation is outlined below:

• What we did to collate customer feedback.
• What we did with this feedback to create an improvement plan.
• What we did to implement this change.

I will conclude with some specific examples of improved documentation based on customer feedback.

About Andrea Flolid

Andrea Flolid is a Staff Information Developer at Arm. She started her career over twenty years ago designing consumer phones and remote keyless entry systems at Motorola. After taking a career break, Andrea switched gears from engineering to technical writing. Since Andrea wrote most of her own technical documentation at Motorola, this wasn’t a very big stretch. However, switching from RF circuitry to semiconductor IP required a steep learning curve. In the end, providing her customers with high quality, technically accurate products has always been at the center of Andrea’s career.

TCUK19 Speaker Liz Gregory – Ten hundred topics? Try planning with mind maps

Liz Gregory will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Ten hundred topics? Try planning with mind maps“.

 

 

Topic-based authoring is like managing your life on post-it notes. They’re small, there can be hundreds of them, and sometimes you walk off with one stuck to your shoe. It’s hard to work small but see the big picture.

A visual person, I found my solution in mind maps. I use structure, colours, and icons to plan and manage my project, topic types, effort, progress, and issues within our agile framework.

This presentation will outline the techniques I use in Mindjet MindManager. Mind maps aren’t for everyone, but if you like your information visual, maybe they’re for you!

You can download a trial version of Mindjet MindManager here: mindjet.com/start-your-free-trial-english/ and have a go yourself.

About Liz Gregory

Liz Gregory MISTC is the sole technical author at tvONE and writes about commercial AV hardware and software. She has a background in chemistry and education and is a champion of user-first content. Liz’s current big project is raising a wonderful daughter while continuing to be the sole author supporting 500 products. She’s learned a lot about juggling deadlines, priorities, and being organised: plan, plan, plan, and always carry a contingency nappy. She is a dedicated member of the Thames Valley ISTC group, and enjoys knitting, web comics, and ball pits.

TCUK19 Speaker Martin Block – Office working: Tips for an easier life

Martin Block will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Office working: Tips for an easier life“.

This presentation is a light-hearted (but hopefully helpful!) review of how to make our lives as technical communicators a little bit easier in the office environment. Its aim is to provide those new to the profession with some tips on how to thrive as office-based technical communicators, and to prompt older hands to reflect on their own office survival tactics.

 

About Martin Block

Martin Block FISTC has worked as a technical author in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, and currently writes for Remsdaq Ltd, a technology company based on Deeside near to Chester. He did a doctorate in physical oceanography (studying sand pick-up over ripples) before which he taught secondary school mathematics for a couple of years. Martin is a keen mountaineer and photographer, and has self-published a book – ‘Five Weeks One Summer’ – a diary of his 5-week solo trip to the high Alps back in 2004.

TCUK19 Speaker Andrea Szollossi – There are `10` types of people in this world…

Andrea Szollossi will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “There are `10` types of people in this world…”

GitHub’s 2017 Open Source Survey has shown most respondents find incomplete or confusing documentation a problem in the open source software space. However, more than half of the respondents also admit they rarely or never contribute to documentation.

Based on my experience of writing open-source documentation at the Government Digital Service, my talk will look at ways of getting your tech community involved in producing documentation.

From technical writing workshops to content critiques and from pair writing to skills exchange, I will cover successful approaches to engaging the tech community and the less successful approaches that led me there.

About Andrea Szollossi

Andrea is a technical writer at the Government Digital Service. Coming from an academic research background, she finds writing for government service teams very rewarding and impactful. Andrea particularly enjoys pair writing and the docs-as-code approach to writing documentation.

TCUK19 Speaker Chris Hester – Jack Denies, Ten Implies: The Power of Nonverbal Communication (Workshop)

Chris Hester will be giving a TCUK19 workshop on “Jack Denies, Ten Implies: The Power of Nonverbal Communication”.

Nowadays, we are so mindful about the words we speak that we forget what our physical presence is saying. Recognizing our nonverbal communication is particularly important for those of us who participate in video calls. Do our facial expressions and gestures support our words? How can we use others’ nonverbal cues to inform what we need to say or do?

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the rhetoric and types of nonverbal communication, as well as learn techniques for identifying and improving our nonverbal communication skills. Participants will discover how nonverbal communication can facilitate productive conversations and form stronger connections.

About Chris Hester

Chris is the Corporate Content Strategy and Operations Manager for UL, an STC Fellow, and a fair-weather cyclist. Prior to joining UL, she worked independently, delivering successful content strategy, taxonomy, and information architecture projects to a variety of clients, including those in the advertising, construction management, entertainment, financial services, and healthcare industries. She has been actively involved in the technical communication community as a volunteer and is a co-organizer of the Chicago Content Strategy Meetup group.

TCUK19 Speaker Jen Phillips – There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Developers and Users

Jen Phillips will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Developers and Users”.

It can seem like developers and users are not even the same species, so getting them to work collaboratively can be quite the challenge.
I’ve seen rigid structures that prevented developers and users from ever speaking directly. I’ve also seen developers making changes at direct user request with little strategic oversight. I firmly believe there is a happy compromise to be found and I’m dedicated to building it.
I will talk about some of the processes and techniques I’ve tried, making the changes in ways that work for everyone, and some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way.

About Jen Phillips

Jen is a word nerd who generalises in anything techcomm-related that needs doing, including software testing and documentation. She has made a career out of getting into other people’s business and helping them out, turning this to all aspects of the software lifecycle and broadening her skills considerably along the way. She aims for improving quality in all aspects of the products, services and corporate culture she can reach, with everything from designing better processes to running regular wellbeing workshops.

TCUK19 Speaker Matthew Ellison – Top Tech Comms Technology Trends from the Past 10 Years

Matthew Ellison will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Top Tech Comms Technology Trends from the Past 10 Years”

The past decade has seen many technology changes that have significantly impacted our work as Technical Communicators – not least the explosion in use of mobile devices that were almost unheard of 10 years ago. This presentation examines the trends, and picks out some key changes that Technical Communicators should be most aware of. These include responsive Design, micro content, open source development tools, and cloud-based authoring.

About Matthew Ellison

Matthew runs UA Europe, an independent training and consultancy company that specialises in user assistance design and development. He has over 30 years of experience as a user assistance professional, including a period in the US as Director of the WritersUA Conference. Matthew has in-depth knowledge of user assistance technologies including HTML5, CSS, and jQuery, and he has trained hundreds of authors on a wide range of tools including Flare, RoboHelp, and Help+Manual. He is a past winner of the ISTC’s annual Horace Hockley award.

TCUK19 Speaker Charlotte Claussen – What others think we do – why it matters and how to set them straight

Charlotte Claussen will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “What others think we do – why it matters and how to set them straight”

Through my career I have heard many different, often incorrect, statements of what my role should be, and what type of work I should be doing. And I have met many frustrated writers whose colleagues don’t understand or prioritise their work.

In this presentation I will discuss how others’ perceptions of our role affects our work, and what we can do about it. I will share some of my own mistakes and successes, and I will present a few suggestions on how you can make your own small investigations and use the findings to improve your own work conditions.

About Charlotte Claussen

Charlotte is a technical writer with experience from start-up-agency, and corporate environments. She has always been interested in how people know what to do with stuff, and why they sometimes get it wrong. She currently works for Cisco, excited about the enterprise challenge of reducing cognitive load for users while meeting the requests of customers.

TCUK19 Speaker Chris Burden – A picture is worth a thousand words – so here’s 10 useful things to know about pictures

Chris Burden will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “A picture is worth a thousand words – so here’s 10 useful things to know about pictures“.

A technical writing skill often overlooked is the skill of creating illustrations. Having a clear, well thought out graphic can have quite an impact on your readers and how they absorb the content you have created.

I am not an artist and have had no formal training in the subject. For this presentation I will share some of my 20 years’ experience in technical writing and creating illustrations. I will cover typical tools available and the pros and cons of using illustrations in technical documentation. I will talk about the different types of illustrations you may be asked to create and how you can go about creating them.

By the end of the presentation you should have at least 10 useful bits of graphics and illustration knowledge.

To find out more, click here to read related articles by Chris.

 

About Chris Burden

Chris is currently working as a senior technical author at 3di Information Solutions; an industry-leading supplier of out-sourced technical writing services. With over 25 years of technical writing experience, Chris has worked on many different products across many different industries. He started his career as a technical writing at Hewlett Packard in the late 80s. However, as that questionably fashionable era ended, Chris was lucky enough to be able to move on and work on a wide range of hardware, software and service products from industries as diverse as medical, financial, forestry, security, car parking, cash machines, and even military equipment.

TCUK19 Speaker David Bailey – 10 To Midnight: Solve the last-minute rush

David Bailey will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “10 To Midnight: Solve the last-minute rush”.

We always work 10 minutes before the midnight deadline.

It’s a classic release documentation problem: you can’t write content until the software is stable and ready for release. But that’s the worst time to access SMEs, do the research, and write good-quality content. We write in a rush, or we release documentation late. It’s a lose-lose scenario for both writers and readers.

David will describe how he has driven a solution to this problem, and how you can apply a similar solution yourselves, by both turning everyone into writers, and by “shifting left” documentation writing.

About David Bailey

David is the Lead Information Architect at White Clarke Group, managing the Information Architecture team.

David has worked in technical communications for nearly 30 years, including technical writing and content development areas, working on a range of documentation: from product descriptions, to user guides, to detailed technical information. David has worked for multiple companies in the software sector, including ServiceNow and Orbis Technologies.

David has driven improvements in documentation at White Clarke Group, and currently manages transition of White Clarke documentation platform to a hosted help-based system.

TCUK19 Speaker George Lewis – 10 steps to streamlining your localisation: How we halved the production time for a 28-language documentation suite

George Lewis will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “10 steps to streamlining your localisation: How we halved the production time for a 28-language documentation suite”.

Producing documentation is a challenge. Producing documentation in 28 languages is tougher. But getting all 28 languages on every single page while halving the time it takes is downright ridiculous …. or is it?

Promethean sells their interactive displays for classrooms in 154 countries. To cater for these countries, the documentation is required in 28 languages.

Due to the cyclical nature of the education business new products must be available in time for the purchasing season; if you miss that window, the product is doomed. So the documentation can’t be late.

In this talk we shall discus the key steps we took to help Promethean halve the production time for their documentation. We shall cover aspects such as why we selected the tools we did, how information design played a key role, and some of the challenges we faced.

To find out more, click here to read related articles by George.

About George Lewis

George heads up the Service Delivery team at 3di. Having started his career in tech comm nearly 20 years ago in Germany, George has served his time as a writer of documents as well as a consultant helping organisations automate their documentation workflows.

George is passionate about developing the people and processes necessary to bring tech comms into the 21st century.

TCUK19 Speaker Tony Dzumaga – 10 Things about SVG and Technical Documentation (Workshop)

Tony Dzumaga will be giving a TCUK19 workshop on “10 Things about SVG and Technical Documentation”.

This workshop will focus on SVG files to show where to use them in technical documentation; we will look at the anatomy of SVG files and the tools we can use to create them. Finally, we will focus on many examples using the diagramming tool Lucidchart.

You will be able to participate online using examples in Codepen and Lucidchart.

Finished examples will include online help using Flare and RoboHelp, printed output using FrameMaker and Word, Lucidchart schematics and diagrams, plus many more.

We will be firmly in the graphics zone, focusing on icons, infographics, schematics, and flowcharts.

About Tony Dzumaga

Tony is a Fellow of the ISTC and has worked in technical communications since 1996.

His documentation experience includes being a courseware developer and trainer in the project management sector, creating boat manuals in nine languages for a luxury yacht manufacturer and developing online help for a SCADA suite of software tools in the oil and gas industry.

Tony has experience of multimedia and graphics from being a Sony Centre and Apple Centre manager in the past.

He is currently working to create technical help content for Apteco a digital marketing software company.

TCUK19 Speaker Alexandru Jitianu – DITA and Markdown

Alexandru Jitianu will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “DITA and Markdown”.

DITA is a great choice for writing technical documentation. Ideally, all contributors to a project should use it to provide content. But sometimes, subject matter experts (like developers, engineers) will prefer to give content in another format. We will explore what possibilities arise when this other format is Markdown, a good match for structured authoring cases in which a minimal markup is enough.


We will explore various solutions like:


– getting DITA format directly from the developers
– getting Markdown format from the developers and integrate it into the DITA pipelines

About Alexandru Jitianu

Alex Jitianu has been working for more than 12 years as a software architect for Syncro Soft Ltd., the producer of the popular Oxygen XML Editor. During this period, his main focus has been in the development of technical documentation tools and DITA specific support. 

TCUK19 Speakers Zsuzsa Nagy & Derek Cooper – 10 records – CPD records keeping (Workshop)

Zsuzsa Nagy and Derek Cooper will be giving a TCUK19 workshop on “10 records – CPD records keeping”.

We will use example CPD records to improve (or start!) record keeping. We will also explore what else CPD records can be used for – turning a “chore” into a toolkit for on-the-job appraisals or job searches. The workshop is open to everybody. To get most out of the workshop, participants are requested to attend the session with their laptop and do about 1-2 hours of prep work.

About Zsuzsa Nagy

Zsuzsa Nagy has over 15 years of experience in the field of information design and is a Fellow of the ISTC. She has worked on manuals in various industries, including telecomms, microprocessor design, and inkjet print electronics. She has been keeping CPD records since she joined the ISTC in 2010.

About Derek Cooper

Derek Cooper is a Fellow of the ISTC and has been working in technical communications since 1992. He has written technical, service and user manuals, training courses and software help systems on a wide range of subjects. He has considerable experience with the Information Mapping and DITA topic-based writing methodologies. In his spare time he is active as a STEM Ambassador, discussing careers in engineering, technology and science with students of all ages at schools. As the chair of TCUK, he takes a deep interest in the process of making the conference successful and enjoyable for all attendees.

TCUK19 Speaker Chris Burden – An explanation of safety notices and how to build them in Flare

Chris Burden will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “An explanation of safety notices and how to build them in Flare“.

Health and safety information in documentation is typically managed and controlled using standards and guidelines.

In this presentation we will review the standards and guidelines that need to be considered when writing documentation for the EU market. Then we will look at how these harmonized standards relate to the federal US system and their documentation requirements.

We will focus on health and safety issues and the use and design of safety notices; what they need to include, what they are used for, and recommended content.

At the end of the session we will share some of the CSS and Flare tricks and tips we have developed at 3di for creating single-sourced safety notices that can be used for multiple outputs, while still complying with standards.

To find out more, click here to read related articles by Chris.

About Chris Burden

Chris is currently working as a senior technical author at 3di Information Solutions; an industry-leading supplier of out-sourced technical writing services. With over 25 years of technical writing experience, Chris has worked on many different products across many different industries. He started his career as a technical writing at Hewlett Packard in the late 80s. However, as that questionably fashionable era ended, Chris was lucky enough to be able to move on and work on a wide range of hardware, software and service products from industries as diverse as medical, financial, forestry, security, car parking, cash machines, and even military equipment.

TCUK19 Speaker Mike Hamilton – Micro Content, Chatbots, and Machine Learning – What Do They Mean for Technical Authoring?

Mike Hamilton will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Micro Content, Chatbots, and Machine Learning – What Do They Mean for Technical Authoring?”.

In our high technology world, the need for quality content is always growing. However, how that content is delivered or received is constantly evolving. In this session, Mike Hamilton will introduce the concepts around “micro content” and how it will impact traditional technical authoring. The session will cover how your content can support your existing publishing requirements (PDF, HTML5, eBook, etc.) and be made compatible with micro content at the same time. Learn how to prepare your content for use as source material for automated chat feeds, bots, and other automated delivery techniques.

About Mike Hamilton

Mike has over thirty years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations including Blue Sky Software/eHelp/Macromedia where he ran the RoboHelp program from 1998 to 2005, Cymer, a leading supplier of laser illumination sources to the semiconductor industry, National Steel & Shipbuilding, and the US Navy.

Mike is often a featured speaker at industry events, including the WinWriters Online Help Conferences, STC (the Society for Technical Communication) Annual Summits, TCWorld events, TCUK, SOAP, and many more events. Mike has also appeared at the Microsoft Campus and STC regional conferences and events.

Mike is also frequently quoted in technology articles in various trade publications.

TCUK19 Speaker Olly Kirillova – Don’t Panic! Applying 10 Risk Management Principles to Technical Communication

Olly Kirillova will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Don’t Panic! Applying 10 Risk Management Principles to Technical Communication“.

Have you ever felt as if you are on fire because the deadlines shifted again? Although there are some risks that you cannot prepare for, there are many others you can control, predict and plan for. 

Technical communicators can apply risk management strategies to prepare for different outcomes. A proper risk management plan is what will keep you sane and in control. In this session, I’ll cover the basics: what constitutes a risk in Technical Communications, how to identify and evaluate risks, and, most importantly, how to set up an effective risk mitigation framework and finally stop panicking.

About Olly  Kirillova

Olly Kirillova, a technical communicator, content developer, and a bit of a control freak. Being a technical communicator for almost ten years, I worked in diverse projects, aimed at skilled IT professionals as well as completely non-technical users. I believe that user needs come first and always advocate for people I write for. My inner perfectionist finds joy when the documentation tasks are on track and risks are well-managed. Besides technical communications, I’m interested in project management, UX, and travelling.

TCUK19 Speaker Ken Davies – Taking the Jump from 00 to 10 – Building HTML-Based Documentation from an infrastructure of PDF Help Files

Ken Davies will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “Taking the Jump from 00 to 10 – Building HTML-Based Documentation from an infrastructure of PDF Help Files”.

Developing online help when all other content is written in PDF format is much more than converting text to an HTML format. Creating HTML content requires a different type of writing, user experience understanding, and work methodologies. This means that much of your content needs to be created again. So how does the author make it happen while development moves on?

Creating online help is possible with a range of modern techniques, such as topic-based authoring, Kanban methodologies, and CSS. As a result, you can deliver new content on the latest product features and minimise the documentation backlog.

 

About Ken Davies

Ken entered technical communications by accident while traveling. In Taiwan, he wrote marketing copy for a mini motherboard that spurred a trend in small PCs. He also worked at anti-virus giants Trend Micro.
Continuing his exploration in technology back in the UK, he worked at map specialists 1Spatial and at Venda, pioneers in e-Commerce software.

He loves seeing the ways in which writing can help the user and immerses himself in blogging and attending meetups.

Currently at Microdec (part of the Access group), he has spent the last 3 ½ years designing their online help as the sole technical author.

TCUK19 Speaker Jen Lambourne – Ones and zeros: An introduction to managing documentation like code

Jen Lambourne will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “Ones and zeros: An introduction to managing documentation like code”.

To treat documentation in the same way developers treat code requires more than a new set of tools. ‘Docs as code’ can fundamentally changed documentation culture, transforming how subject matter experts and writers create and iterate content together.

Based on our experience introducing docs as code for all technical documentation at the Government Digital Service, this talk will explore:
• what docs as code looks like in theory and practice
• how to map workflows to the docs as code approach
• what tools, design, and skills you’ll need
• the benefits and limitations
• how it can transform relationships with experts and users alike

About Jen Lambourne

Jen is a writer who loves a gnarly content problem. As Head of Technical Writing at the Government Digital Service (GDS), Jen leads a team of writers producing technical documentation and guidance to help people build, buy and reuse technology across the UK government. She likes using developer tools to manage docs, redefining how writers work with engineers, and creating inclusive, user-centred content that helps others.

TCUK19 Speaker Margaretha Hopman – ISO 20607 … just another standard that tells you how to do your job?

Margaretha Hopman will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “ISO 20607 … just another standard that tells you how to do your job?”.

ISO 20607 “Safety of machinery – Instruction handbook – General drafting principles” is a new standard that will be on the list of harmonized standards for the Machinery Directive. Standards are usually rather boring documents, but this very practical type-B standard might help you in creating the right content for instructions for use with machines.
After a brief recap of what the Machinery Directive (2005/42/EG) says about instructions for use, I will explain the main points of ISO 20607. I’ll suggest an approach for an updated workflow and there will be a checklist to help you get started.

About Margaretha Hopman

Margaretha Hopman has been a self-employed content creator since 1991, working mainly as a technical writer, occasionally as a trainer and sporadically as an instructional designer. She has worked with various authoring tools, but MadCap Flare has been her tool of choice for the past 8 years. She loves designing documentation structures that work and that are future-proof.

In summer, Margaretha spends a lot of time in her garden to grow her own fruits and vegetables. In the winter months, she attempts to master the art of watercolour painting, and she goes ice skating as often as possible.

TCUK19 Speaker Ant Davey – Editorial support, a better solution for SMEs than style guides

Ant Davey will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 on “Editorial support, a better solution for SMEs than style guides”.

     

    We’ve all used style guides as professional writers, but they don’t always work for the amateurs. This session looks at how we used the OPTI competency model to develop an editorial management competence at the Rail Safety and Standards Board. A competence that involves iterative technical editing support from the specification of the project to final delivery. I’ll talk about how we got it included it in project management processes. About how we have started to implement it in some major documentation projects for the rail industry. And about some of the early results we’ve seen.

    About Ant Davey

    The last 35-plus years have, in some ways taken my career full circle. After graduating I worked as a marketing executive, writing direct mail letters selling customer service consultancy, and developing the training materials. Who knew I was already into a branch of technical writing? An encounter with some career consultants introduced me to the term ‘technical writer’. A what? After five years in technical PR I got my first real TW job, writing software manuals. Finding that six verbs weren’t enough, in 2006 I entered the rail industry. And now life has come full circle, to content marketing.

    TCUK19 speaker Margaretha Hopman – 10 most baffling experiences in my nearly 3 x 10 years career as a content creator

    Margaretha Hopman will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “10 most baffling experiences in my nearly 3 x 10 years career as a content creator”.

    My career as a self-employed content creator started in February 1991 and I have worked for over 80 companies since then. Most jobs I do not even remember, but some jobs, some co-workers, some bosses left me speechless. In this session, I will share 10 (maybe more) experiences that some of you may recognize, others (I expect) will be as baffling to you as they were for me. Of course, I will also share what I learned from these experiences.

    About Margaretha Hopman

    Margaretha Hopman has been a self-employed content creator since 1991, working mainly as a technical writer, occasionally as a trainer and sporadically as an instructional designer. She has worked with various authoring tools, but MadCap Flare has been her tool of choice for the past 8 years. She loves designing documentation structures that work and that are future-proof.

    In summer, Margaretha spends a lot of time in her garden to grow her own fruits and vegetables. In the winter months, she attempts to master the art of watercolour painting, and she goes ice skating as often as possible.

    TCUK19 Speaker Chris Hester – Smitten with Strategy: What we get wrong (and right) about content strategy

    Chris Hester will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Smitten with Strategy: What we get wrong (and right) about content strategy”.

    It’s not uncommon in content strategy to focus more on content and less on strategy. Content is concrete: we know what we’re working with. On the other hand, strategy can be ambiguous: is it a plan or process? A set of tools? Project goals? All of the above?

    This session introduces the concepts of strategy and provides a foundation for thinking strategically about our content work. As we move from deliverable-focused thinking to a strategic-thinking mindset, we’ll cover the myths and realities of strategic thinking, techniques for strategic thinking, and learning how to view content projects through a strategic lens.

    About Chris Hester

    Chris is the Corporate Content Strategy and Operations Manager for UL, an STC Fellow, and a fair-weather cyclist. Prior to joining UL, she worked independently, delivering successful content strategy, taxonomy, and information architecture projects to a variety of clients, including those in the advertising, construction management, entertainment, financial services, and healthcare industries. She has been actively involved in the technical communication community as a volunteer and is a co-organizer of the Chicago Content Strategy Meetup group.

    TCUK19 Speaker George Bina – Interactive Intelligent Style Guide

    George Bina will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “Interactive Intelligent Style Guide”.

    Style guides started as set of rules written in prose that people had to learn and follow when writing content. Using a style guide is a necessity in order to avoid repeating mistakes. To eliminate the overhead of learning all the rules before starting to write, we need intelligent style guides that enforce their rules automatically, detecting problems and offering possible solutions the writer can choose from. Such style guides are not only possible, but immediately available to you!

    About George Bina

    George Bina is one of the founders of Syncro Soft, the company that develops oXygen XML suite of XML editing, authoring, development, publishing and collaboration tools. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with XML and related technologies, bringing many innovative ideas to reality and contributing to XML-related open-source projects.

    He presented at many XML, DITA, and technical communication conferences, giving passionate presentations and challenging the technological status quo, trying to get the audience to think outside the box, and re-imagine the future.

    TCUK19 Speaker Jean Rollinson – 10 commandments of technical writing – are they still relevant?

    Jean Rollinson will be giving a presentation at TCUK19 entitled “10 commandments of technical writing – are they still relevant?”.

    What are the ten commandments of technical writing? Many versions have done the rounds on social media, but in this presentation, I will look at the list that appeals most to me and consider whether they are true and whether they work for all situations. I will then move on to consider whether, with the changes and developments in technical writing, they are still relevant. For example, with the rise of content on demand and users only reading bits of text relevant to their situation at the moment, we can’t always know the context or what the user has already read.

    About Jean Rollinson

    I have been a technical author and editor since 1994 and have worked mostly in the software industry. I am happiest playing with MadCap Flare, but I also try to help other people use Word efficiently. I spent nearly 13 years as a freelance technical author and editor while my children were growing up, but I prefer the stability of permanent work.