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Recording: Writing tech docs like a hacker with Jekyll

Jan 18, 2017 • jekyll, podcasts, stitcher

I recently gave a presentation titled Writing tech docs like a hacker with Jekyll to the to the Southern Ontario STC chapter (on Jan 18, 2017). In the presentation, I introduce reasons why we started using Jekyll, how static site generators differ from content management systems, how to get started with Jekyll, and challenges involved in using Jekyll for technical documentation sites.

Slides

You can view the slides here.

Video recording

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Audio only

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Listen to this presentation:

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Description

Here’s a description of the presentation from the Southern Ontario STC.

Writing tech docs like a hacker with Jekyll

Static site generators are a new breed of documentation tools that are much more common in engineering groups where developers contribute to the documentation.

Jekyll is one of the most popular static site generators, but it is highly similar to others in the same category such as Docpad, Middleman, Wintersmith, and Octopress. You can see a more comprehensive list of the top static site generators at Staticgen.com.

Jekyll projects approach doc as code. All the files are open and editable within a code editor, and your files can live in the same repository as your program code or within the same version control workflow.

Although developers and web engineers love Jekyll, there are significant challenges to overcome when adopting Jekyll for any robust tech comm publishing scenario. Some of these challenges include conditional filtering, single sourcing, PDF output, a robust TOC, search, context-sensitive help, collaboration, SME review, and more.

In this presentation, Tom Johnson will share his adventures in using Jekyll and how he dealt with each of these challenges.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.