Zooming out and in with navigation

The Android documentation is one of the most interesting documentation sites I've seen. To appreciate the site, look at the left sidebar navigation. Not only does it expand and collapse vertically in accordion style, it also moves right and left horizontally into additional level hierarchies. The site authors have made a massive sidebar menu more navigable through JavaScript wizardry. Read more »

Kanban may be a better fit than scrum when you support large numbers of engineers

Since I've been working at Amazon, my tech comm role has shifted more to content curator and publisher than simply author. This shift in roles brings with it some new challenges and responsibilities. Some of the previous scrum methods with agile no longer seem to fit. I'm finding that kanban might align better with my workflow. Read more »

How can technical writers thrive in agile environments? Event recording and details

Last Monday we had a record turnout at our STC Silicon Valley chapter (with about 40 attendees). The topic was a panel discussion on how to thrive in agile environments as a technical writer. With 5 panelists all from different companies, the perspectives and practices they shared varied a bit, which showed the adaptations different writers and companies have made with agile to make the process work for them. This post contains a full description and recording of the event. Read more »

Implementing Swagger in your API documentation -- My ISTC article

I recently published an article about Swagger in the Autumn 2016 edition of ISTC's magazine, Communicator. ISTC stands for Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators. My article provides an introduction to using Swagger (now called OpenAPI specification) for publishing your REST API documentation. Read more »

Recording of Let's Tell a Story -- Scenario-Based Documentation, by Matt Ness (STC Silicon Valley Presentation)

Matt Ness, a technical writer at Splunk and a co-organizer for WTD San Francisco, recently gave a presentation to the STC Silicon Valley chapter called Let's Tell a Story: Scenario-Based Documentation. In this presentation, Matt talks about ways to integrate storytelling techniques into documentation, drawing upon his experience as a Dungeons and Dragons player and his player experience from other video game or fantasy worlds. To help users on their journeys and quests, you need a narrative to guide them and a manual to help them overcome obstacles. Video, slides, and audio from the presentation are included in this post. Read more »