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2016 archives

  1. Generalist versus specialist: What should you focus on with knowledge building in your tech writing role?

  2. Write the Docs Podcast Episode 2 (which Focuses on Findability) Now Available

  3. Updating a single page versus updating the documentation as a whole

  4. Write the Docs Podcast episode 1: New podcast from the Write the Docs community

  5. Recording of Open Authoring -- Collaboration Across Disciplines presentation, by Ralph Squillace

  6. Review of Coding for Writers course by Peter Gruenbaum on Udemy

  7. Should you ever apologize for something product-related in your documentation? Looking at Apple's dongle documentation

  8. How to avoid becoming extinct in your technical writing career

  9. How to get crisp text callouts like in Apple's new Touch bar documentation -- and why you might not want to with translation projects

  10. Markdown or reStructuredText or DITA? Choosing the right format for tech docs

  11. How to tell if you're a content strategist

  12. Apple's Two-Step Verification versus Two-Factor Authentication, or, When Marketing's lingo makes it impossible to communicate with plain speech

  13. How to respond to product disasters: Analyzing Samsung's response to their exploding phones in contrast to Dyn's response to the DDoS attack

  14. How to deliver newsletters for your Jekyll site

  15. Coding the sidebar navigation element for documentation websites

  16. From podcasts to audio books and now back to podcasts -- experimenting with a new angle

  17. Saving Your Sanity Through Better Client Relations -- with Alisa Bonsignore

  18. My gravity towards tools

  19. Zooming out and in with navigation

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

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

  22. Implementing Swagger in your API documentation -- My ISTC article

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

  24. Balancing the never-ending list of documentation to write with your natural interests and passions

  25. The variety of tools tech comm professionals use

  26. Presentation recording: Hunting for API developer documentation jobs in the San Francisco Bay area, by Andrew Davis

  27. The complexities of translation and the need for dynamic variables in the build process

  28. Will the docs-as-code approach scale? Responding to comments on my Review of Modern Technical Writing

  29. The Story of Paligo: A new browser-based CCMS with all the features you'd ever want

  30. Review of Andrew Etter's ebook on Modern Technical Writing

  31. Applying Tim Ferriss' 4-hour work week rules to tech comm projects

  32. Thoughts on Transforming Documentation Processes presentation at WTD: Evaluating the trend to treat documentation as code

  33. Context switching and efficiency -- Kanban to the rescue?

  34. Why Programming Sucks and the fallacy of documentation in the context of code chaos

  35. Thoughts on Documentation Avoidance for Programmers

  36. How the Solve This! meetup format turned out -- plus some unachieved parallels with the Dead Poet Society

  37. The difference between marketing writing and technical writing in one small sign

  38. A jump in Google traffic due to content quality?

  39. Attend the "Solve This!" Write the Docs Meetup tomorrow (June 23, 2016)

  40. Examples of visual communication in developer documentation with the Android Vocabulary Glossary

  41. My technical communication contribution to the UX Careers Handbook

  42. Advanced formatting with Markdown using Jekyll and Includes

  43. More complex user process maps in documentation systems

  44. Interested in working as a technical writer at Amazon?

  45. Examples of linear workflow user maps built with JS and CSS

  46. 8 image translation issues for tech doc — guest post by Jeanine Shepstone

  47. 11 images issues for tech doc systems — guest post by Jeanine Shepstone

  48. Presentation recording: Move Fast And ... Document Things? Lessons learned in building documentation culture at a startup, by Ruthie Bendor

  49. Recording of 'Move fast and ... document things,' by Ruthie Bendor at Write the Docs

  50. Recording of 'Two great teams that work great together: Bridging the gap between documentation and support,' by Neal Kaplan at Write the Docs

  51. Some post-STC Summit thoughts

  52. Slides for Writing Tech Docs Like a Hacker with Jekyll presentation

  53. Slides for Documenting REST APIs Workshop — 2016 STC Summit Anaheim, Calif.

  54. How do you establish more context in a topic-based writing model?

  55. Getting sharp, clear text in screen captures — and making sense of Retina displays

  56. Jekyll Conf 2016 slides and video: Overcoming Challenges in Using Jekyll for Tech Docs

  57. Creating professional looking graphics in the easiest, simplest way possible

  58. Visual communication overview

  59. Three types of knowledge every technical writer needs to be successful

  60. Recording of WTD presentation on Video Documentation, by Alicia Avrach

  61. Recording of STC-SV presentation on the Shape of a Modern Technical Communication Organization, by Sanborn Hodgkins

  62. Seeing things from the perspective of a learner

  63. Eight reasons why documentation fails for users, and what to do about it

  64. API documentation workshop opportunity at the STC Summit

  65. Lightning talks from San Francisco Write the Docs meetup

  66. Xeditor, a CMS editor for XML content

  67. REST API documentation workshop recording (STC Sacramento)

  68. Version 5.0 of my Documentation Theme for Jekyll now available

  69. Hi there – Let’s get casual… Guest post by Lavanya Krishnamurthy

  70. Shannon got into Stanford's MA Liberal Arts program

  71. Selling Girl Scout cookies

  72. Starting a new series on visual communication

  73. 10 minute podcast on API technical writing with Ryan Weber on Stitcher

  74. Retrospective — Looking back at the good and bad of previous experiences

  75. So People Don't RTFM? Write a FM That's Worth R'ing — Guest post by Marcia Riefer Johnston

  76. Lightweight DITA article in Technical Communication Journal

  77. I'm starting a new job at Amazon Lab126

  78. Answering questions in James Gill's upcoming book, How to Get Started as a Technical Writer

  79. What is the ideal tool for developer documentation environments?

  80. Updating from redcarpet and Pygments to Kramdown and Rouge on Github Pages

  81. Why didn't WordPress take off with tech docs?

  82. Two upcoming API documentation events this Thursday

  83. Is the only way to plug into a documentation CCMS through DITA/XML?

  84. Three models for single source publishing — and challenges with each

  85. My YAML tutorial in the context of Jekyll

  86. The third API course from Peter Gruenbaum on Udemy

  87. Upcoming REST API documentation workshop in Sacramento

  88. New section in API documentation course: The Job Market for API technical Writers

  89. Challenges in documenting long JSON objects

  90. How to apply agile processes to manage your life's projects

  91. The problem with adopting bleeding-edge tools

  92. Spec-driven Development with RAML -- presentation by Michael Stowe to STC Silicon Valley chapter

  93. First video for API documentation course -- your feedback?

  94. Are technical writing blogs growing or dying?

  95. What is the technical writer's role in content marketing?

  96. Analyzing top posts on my blog during 2015 — Deciding between brand versus readership

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the tech comm, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.