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Recording: Modern Technical Writing, by Andrew Etter (STC Silicon Valley chapter)

Jan 24, 2017 • api-doc, podcasts, stitcher

Andrew Etter presented about his book, Modern Technical Writing, to the STC Silicon Valley chapter on January 24, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. In the presentation, Andrew talks about the strategies he implemented at Palantir to change to a new way of doing docs. This new way includes having a smaller team, using text editors, writing in plain text, processing pull requests instead of bugs, and more. He dives into lightweight markup syntax, static site generators, version control tools, and more, as well as challenges he has faced.

You can read Andrew’s book here: Modern Technical Writing: An Introduction to Software Documentation . (I also posted a review of his book earlier last year.)

Presentation Description

Here’s a description of the presentation:

In Modern Technical Writing: An Introduction to Software Documentation (an ebook available on Kindle), Andrew Etter argues for a model of technical writing that involves lightweight markup languages (like AsciiDoc and Markdown), static site generators (such as Sphinx), distributed version control systems (like Git or Bitbucket), constantly iterating/updating doc content on your website based on analytics, and more. In this presentation, Andrew will provide a summary of Modern Technical Writing, including a discussion of distributed workflows, static site generators, lessons learned during the publishing process, and more.

You can read more details on the STC Silicon Valley event post.


Here’s a video recording (screen + audio):


If you just want the audio only, you can listen here:

Listen to this presentation:

You can download the MP3 file, subscribe in iTunes, or listen with Stitcher.


You can view the slides in PDF here:

More info

If you’d like more, you can also watch a similar presentation Andrew gave to the Write the Docs San Francisco meetup here.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.