A report from ASTC (NSW) 2011 day 2 morning
I’m at the 2011 conference of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (ASTC), New South Wales branch. It’s great to get together with other technical writers, greet old friends and meet new people. It’s also great to talk about the things that matter to us as technical communication professionals. Here are my notes from the morning of day 2.
The morning passed in a flurry of activity, because my colleague Paul Watson and I both presented our sessions. We were busy setting up the PC and the wiki, then giving the presentations, then recovering. If you’re anything like me, you’re non compos mentis for an hour or so on either side of giving a presentation. 🙂 For that reason, I didn’t take notes.
The morning started with an excellent presentation on Agile development – a guide for writers, by Cerys Willoughby. I was next up, giving a practical demonstration of doing technical documentation on a wiki. Next came a Q&A session about documentation standards Richard Hodgkinson kicked it off with an overview of existing and developing standards, then a panel of experts answered questions.
Paul Watson was up next, with an engaging and expert discussion of PDF documents, wiki documents, the confluence of wikis and PDFs. He finished up with a demonstration of how to produce customised PDF documents from Confluence, and touched on the things the wiki can do and the things that are still missing.
The last session of the day was an amusing and informative look at wordless instructions by Richard Hodgkinson. These wordless instructions were conveyed via drawings showing people how to assemble a product, in this case a typewriter. Richard drew from his personal experience as part of the team that designed the packaging for the IBM Selectric “Golfball” typewriter. He gave us recommendations based on the lessons learned.
Now it’s lunch time. I will take more detailed notes on this afternoon’s sessions!