Editor’s Note: Introducing a new guest blogger to Cherryleaf’s blog: Dr. Tony Self of HyperWrite.
Where are all the technical writers?
I have often wondered why there are so few technical writers in the world.
In my country, Australia, the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates there are over 2,000 technical writers within the total workforce of 11.65 million people. The Australian Government groups technical writers into a category called ”Journalists and Other Writers”. That category of writer has shown little growth over the last decade, and in 2011 represented just 21,400 people.
In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were about 50,000 American technical writers in 2010.
We are living in the information age, yet the numbers of technical writers in countries like Australia and the US are not skyrocketing. Why not? Continue reading
Cherryleaf has joined Wired Sussex, a Brighton-based membership organisation for companies operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex, UK.
Wired Sussex works to help members to create, innovate and grow.
Cherryleaf is also a member (but not a resident) of Campus London, a co-working space in the heart of East London’s Tech City that’s supported and powered by Google.
We’re happy to talk to start-ups about supporting users on a shoestring, as well as new and emerging ways to support users. Contact us if you’d like to talk.
You can now watch the recording of our webinar on “Towards an Agile authoring methodology”, via Adobe’s website.
Agile development is a way of managing IT development teams and projects that creates new challenges for those involved in providing User Assistance for those products.
Towards an Agile authoring methodology webinar recording
Here are the slides on “Technical writing career paths in the UK”:
Thanks to everyone who contributed.
There are reports on various technology websites that Microsoft is rumoured to purchasing the owners of the Nook e-book readers and tablets. There are also rumours that the next release of Microsoft Office (codename “Gemini”) will have a “publish to Nook” option.
These potential actions would help Microsoft compete with Amazon and Apple in the digital publishing market; Microsoft would be able to offer writers a feature-rich authoring tool, a publishing platform and a publishing environment, all from the same vendor. The promise is, you could write your book in Word, and be able to start selling it, in just a few clicks.
What is unclear at this moment is whether “publish to Nook” means “publish EPUB documents that will display their content nicely on other ebook readers”. Will the underlying code in the EPUB files be “clean” and not “bloated”? Let’s hope that’s the case.
Let us know what you think.
Do let us know if you’d be interested in us scheduling another public course for our Trends in Technical Communication – Advanced technical writing techniques course. We need just a couple more people for us to schedule a course date for June. Do let us know if you’d be interested in attending this course.
Interested in an online version of the course?
For writers based outside of the UK, we’re also considering offering this course in a “live and online” format over the Web. Using Google+ Hangouts, the course would be spread over a number of days, rather than delivered as a full day’s worth of training. The price of the course would be the same. The first course would be limited to just 5 or 6 delegates. Do let us know if you’d be interested in attending this course.
About the course
In this course, you’ll find out how Technical Authors in leading companies are now applying techniques from other disciplines (such as psychology, copywriting, usability and elearning) into the information they create.
Using examples of Help pages from a number of applications (including from vendors such as Apple, Facebook, Google, HTC and Mozilla), you’ll learn how to spot where these techniques have been used, and you’ll have the opportunity to practise these in the workshop.
Do let us know if you’d be interested in attending this course.
Atlassian’s Sarah Maddox has posted her slides from her STC Summit 13 presentation “Doc sprints: The ultimate in collaborative document development”. It’s a useful description of a documentation sprint and its benefits:
Contact Cherryleaf if you’d like help and assistance in managing a documentation sprint.
We will be presenting “Planning user documentation when you are a startup business” at the Technical Communication UK conference in September.
We’ll look at how to plan a user documentation project when you’re working for a startup technology company. Working in this environment gives you the opportunity to work “from a clean sheet,” but it also has its own challenges of working in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment.
We’ll look at the issues around planning user documentation and the additional considerations when you are a startup. Your budget may be limited and the product or service in development may be constantly changing, so how should you work in this situation? What should you be developing, and what is the value of user documentation for a startup?
We will cover:
- What is different about working for a startup
- Lean startup strategies
- The value of user documentation for a startup and why should you provide it
- How to document in this environment
- What you should document
- What you should measure?
- What to do when budgets are limited
- What to do when there is no clear audience
For more information, see Technical Communication UK conference.
This is an opportunity to join a technical writing team within a fast-growing, independent software company. Our client develops Web-based financial trading software for the world’s largest financial institutions. They have an immediate vacancy for a Technical Author with a passion for technical communication.
You will developing end-user documentation for a range of products, producing user manuals, online help and API documentation.
See #4133 Technical Author, City of London, £32K-£37K DOE
You’ll find our latest post for the Society for Technical Communication on its Notebook blog. It’s called What’s the Best Way to Deliver Distance Learning for Technical Communicators?
One of the most frequent questions we’re asked at Cherryleaf is if we can deliver our advanced technical writing techniques course as a distance learning class. We only offer it as a classroom course, which effectively limits us to teaching students who are based in the United Kingdom, Ireland, or mainland Europe. Being able to offer a training course worldwide is tempting, but is it really possible to deliver distance learning when you want to get people to question and rethink the way they do things today?
See: What’s the Best Way to Deliver Distance Learning for Technical Communicators?