A tech writer, a map, and an app – ASTC 2017

I’m attending the Technical Communicators Conference 2017, which is the annual conference of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (ASTC). This post is about the session I presented at the conference.

I presented a session called A tech writer, a map, and an app. The session is about my experiences developing an app, why I tried my hand at app development, and what I learned from the experience. The app itself, Tech Comm on a Map, is an interactive map that shows events of interest to technical communicators. The app is available on the web and on Android.

The presentation included a technical overview of the app and what went into developing it:

  • The nuts and bolts of a web-based application like Tech Comm on a Map: where it’s hosted, where the data is stored, the JavaScript code and the APIs that create the map and the app’s functionality.
  • The difference between a web-based application and a mobile app. Tech Comm on a Map is available as a native Android app as well as a webapp.
  • Where the app’s data is stored, and how it’s crowd sourced.
  • What open sourcing means, and why you may want to open source your code.
  • The information sources that I used when developing the app.

I’ve learned much from the experience of developing an app, including:

  • Interactions with my engineering colleagues have increased mutual understanding and respect.
  • Fellow technical writers all over the world help compile the data. A project like this is a good way of connecting with your peers.
  • Developing an app has helped me better understand my audience of software engineers, by experiencing their needs and problems first hand.
  • The project has given me confidence in my own abilities in a highly technical field.

The slides for my presentation are available on SlideShare: A tech writer, a map, and an app. You can also read more about the app, Tech Comm on a Map.

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About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 11 November 2017, in ASTC, technical writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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