I’m excited to be speaking soon at STC Summit 2017, the annual conference of the Society for Technical Communication. The event happens in Washington, DC, on 7-10 May. My presentation is about APIs, maps, developers, and a tech writer’s foray into the world of app development.
The conference theme is “gaining the edge”. So I decided to talk about my experiences developing an app, and why I tried my hand at app development. The app, Tech Comm on a Map, is an interactive web-based map that shows events of interest to technical communicators.
In this presentation, you’ll see some code and understand the nuts and bolts of the app – where the data is stored, how it gets there, how it ends up on a map for everyone to see.
Follow me on a tech writer’s odyssey into app development.
Tread in dangerous territory.
We may even see a dragon or two.
Emerge a little triumphant, and certainly well travelled.
Q: Why does the journey on this map start in Sydney and end up on the east coast of the US?
A: Because that’s the trip I’ll make to give this presentation at STC Summit. 🙂
At this session, you’ll learn the technical details:
- How the app’s data is crowd sourced.
- What open sourcing your code means, and why you may want to do it.
- 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.
- The information sources that I used when developing the app.
You’ll also see how such a project can help develop your soft skills:
- My engineering colleagues helped me kick off the development of the app, and made ongoing suggestions for refinement. The resulting interactions 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 can help you better understand your subject and your audience of software engineers and other specialists.
- Such a project gives you confidence in your own abilities, even if you’re just skimming the surface of code complexity.
Here’s the session on the STC Summit schedule: A tech writer, a map, and an app.
You can also read more about the app, Tech Comm on a Map.
I’ve just published a blog post on the Google Geo Developers Blog, about a new design for the Google Maps API tutorials. I’d love some feedback from technical writers. If you have a few minutes, would you head on over there and let us know what you think?