tekom Annual Conference Articles

The Bestselling Technical Writer: An Oxymoron?

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It’s the year 2017 and people use apps for everything; no one reads documentation. The job of a technical writer has been replaced by an icon on a mobile device. Yet for many companies, documentation is still necessary to fulfil specific legal and safety requirements. Technical writers still strive to create consistent and usable documentation out of professional pride – documentation which no one reads.

Mentoring for Millennials

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Mentoring is nothing new: there will always be a need for people with knowledge, expertise, and experience (mentors) to train others who are just starting out on their career. These days, millennials, also known as Generation Y, are getting a lot of attention; they will soon dominate the workplace and are allegedly reinventing the world. But can existing mentoring models keep up with this generation’s needs?

Enterprise Social Networking

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As companies have extended their operations across the globe, the technology for facilitating collaboration across geographical boundaries has improved both in terms of the tools available and their usability. Online collaboration tools and enterprise social networks seemingly represent the ultimate solution for increasing productivity in distributed teams.

Effective Rhetoric, Effective Writing: Parallelism in Technical Communication

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When two or more concepts are logically equal, the same grammatical structure can be repeated to improve writing style and readability, for example, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” . In grammar and rhetoric, we speak of parallelism, and this technique lends itself to technical communication.

Shape Up to Ship Out – How to Clean Up Your Source Documentation for Effective Localization

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Creating good technical documentation requires the ability to apply structure and clarity to complex information. Even when various quality checks have been performed, the act of translating the documentation often uncovers a variety of problems. Content that is poorly prepared for localization into one or even more languages typically ends up costing more time and […]

When Your English Throws a “Spanner” or a “Wrench” in the Works*

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The global supremacy of the English language is widely accepted in the field of technical documentation. But how does the variety of English used affect the overall quality of technical documentation? Ignorance of and misconceptions about English-language issues can throw a proverbial spanner or wrench in English-language documentation. What kind of English? global language The […]

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  • In a nutshell, I optimize user interface text such as control labels and create on-screen instructions and help documentation for developers & customers. | Helen works as a user assistance lead at SAP SE.