We’re looking for two contract Technical Authors/Documentarians, SW London, 3/6 months

Plus someone interested in a permanent position, too.

See:  #4187 Contract Technical Author, South West London, 3/6 months

You must have:

  • A proven track record in technical writing
  • Experience of creating content for an IT Operations/technical audience
  • Experience of using Linux (e.g. using the CLI; being able to execute and test shell commands that install and configure applications)
  • An understanding of JavaScript, or a similar scripting language
  • Experience of documenting enterprise products (both on-premise and SaaS)
  • The ability to work autonomously, with little supervision
  • The ability follow an established writing style guide

Upcoming presentations in 2018

Cherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt will be speaking at two upcoming events:

London Content Strategy Meetup, 7pm 22 February 2018

What’s the deal about structured content?

Content can often seem like jelly – messy and hard to manage. In this presentation, we’ll look at whether you can reduce this messiness through structured writing. In this overview of the topic, we’ll explore what is structured writing, what it promises to give its adopters, the different standards, and the challenges that come with using structured writing.

Venue: SYZYGY London, 84 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8RW

London Content Strategy Meetup

MadWorld Europe 2018 conference, 11-13 September

Documentation as Self-service Support

In this session, Ellis Pratt will look at the different approaches to self-service support, and the role of the technical communicator within that environment. He’ll explore questions such as where end-user documentation fits in in self-service support, and the realities of expecting users to write content. And finally, Ellis will discuss whether software-as-a-service changes the type of support and organization needs to provide.

Authoring in an Agile World

Agile development has been growing rapidly in the software industry and other industries. While the agile development model may make sense from a product development perspective, the methodology doesn’t explain the best way to create Help content for users. In this presentation, we’ll look at how authoring teams have responded to this challenge and developed agile approaches to technical writing.

Venue: Boscolo Prague Hotel, Prague, Czechia / Czech Republic.

MadWorld Europe 2018

Don’t say “simply”

At this month’s WriteTheDocs London meetup, Jim Fisher of Pusher presented a talk called “Don’t say Simply“.  He talked about words, such as “simply”, that can seem innocuous when written in user documentation, but which show a lack of sympathy when read.

He showed how popular “simply” is with developer documentation writers, by showing the number of hits for that word in GitHub: 93 million! If you restrict the search to Markdown files (the file type on GitHub used mostly for documentation) , it’s 3,325,386 hits.

“Easy” and “easily” are also problematic, and overused: There are 4,127,104 Markdown pages on GitHub for “easy”, and 2,797,143 Markdown pages for “easily”.

The problem with “simply” and “easy” is that the related task or concept is unlikely to be always simple or easy when the reader needs to read the documentation.

These words are typically “banned” in the main technical writing style guides, but they could be appropriate in training or marketing material. In general, it’s best Technical Authors avoid them.

Here is a link to Jim’s slides: Don’t say “simply” (Write The Docs London, 2018-01-23).

The Carol Johnston Memorial Award

This October, Cherryleaf celebrates 15 years in the technical authoring business.

Over the years we have had many exciting challenges and worked with some wonderful inspirational people: none more so than our friend and co-founder, Carol Johnston, who sadly died of a brain tumour in 2012. Carol was enormously talented: a brilliant pianist and singer, a Cambridge Maths graduate and an excellent author. She contributed so much to Cherryleaf, and we miss her as much for her sense of humour as for her problem-solving abilities.

To celebrate Carol’s life and contribution to Cherryleaf, as well as our 15 years in business we have created the Carol Johnston Memorial Award. Carol was a great teacher and trainer – knowledgeable, professional and patient. She trained many authors over the years and would be, we hope, very pleased to continue contributing to the technical authoring world through the Carol Johnston Memorial.

The Carol Johnston Memorial Award is the chance for two young European Technical Authors (or erstwhile Technical Authors) under the age of 30 and living in Europe to access all Cherryleaf’s online courses free for 12 months. These courses include: our ISTC accredited training course which teaches the fundamentals of being a tech author; our Advanced technical writing course, and our WriteLessons courses.

To apply, all you have to do is send us a brief statement explaining why you want to have access to the Carol Johnston Memorial Award courses.  We’ll draw two winners in December.

T&Cs apply.

 

Incorporating the Stripe API look and feel into a MadCap Flare project

Back in July, we looked at creating an API documentation portal using MadCap Flare (see also: Example of API documentation portal using MadCap Flare) .

We done some further testing. We’ve created two new examples for  API documentation that had been generated with the Stripe API look and feel and imported into Flare:

To compare the two, here is the standard “Stripe API” left-hand Table of Contents when imported into Flare.

We’ve not made any changes to the default Heading styles from the source files. The stylesheets would needed to be modified to make them consistent with the styles used on the other HTML pages in the project.

New contract opportunity #4183 Contract Technical Author, Swindon

Our client is looking for a contract Technical Author to assist the in-house Technical Author, in updating the hardware manuals and software user guide for a range of new product releases. These are published as PDFs and printed manuals.

The company sells scanning and imaging equipment. The work involves taking the existing manuals and updating them, using Microsoft Word.

You will need to visit the client near Swindon, Wiltshire, to get hands on experience with hardware and software. Other than that, you would be able to work off site.

The client estimates the project will be around 6 weeks’ work. There may be opportunities further work in the future. The client has not specified a rate.

To apply, please contact Cherryleaf.

New technical communication laptop stickers

The technical communication Venn diagram laptop stickers we created have been very popular. We’ve ordered more of them, and we’ve created some new designs. The new stickers have quotations from some of the people we’ve interviewed on the Cherryleaf podcast.

laptop sticker with quotation

The stickers should arrive by the end of the month. Like before, we’ll post them off to anyone based in Europe who wants them.