Past Webinars

  • Recorded: November 29, 2016 Continuous delivery (CD) and application release automation (ARA) are usually associated with software. These methodologies can be extended to other parts of your business, such as technical documentation. The output of a build/deploy/test/release software process and a build/publish tech doc process are similar – both produce sets of files that can be executed, uploaded, or published to multiple sites. When companies or organizations think of CD and ARA, they most often apply it to the software build/deploy/test/release process. There are many sources of information about how to do this, such as reference books, blogs, communities, and conferences where information is shared and new ideas arise. Let’s look at another way to apply CD and ARA in a company or organization. The process for technical documentation can also follow the build/deploy/test/release pattern.   At Electric Cloud, the process to build and publish (deploy and release) technical documentation was manual and time-consuming. A typical documentation set for a software release consists of six targets. The build process is run through the authoring tool and can take up to 30 minutes to build only one target. During this time, the authoring tool cannot be used to edit other files, and the PC performance can be adversely affected. To publish the documentation, the technical writer has to manually push the file set for each target and keep track of the progress. The publishing process can take up to several hours, depending on the number of targets to publish, the number of files for each target, and the number of servers to which the targets will be published. In this presentation, Jennifer will show how she modified her documentation workflow from doing things manually to having multiple documentation targets automated and publishing them to one or more sites. Jennifer will briefly describe the manual build and publish processes and how long it took to perform them as well as challenges of running this process consistently. Then she will describe and show how these processes were automated and summarize the improvements (spoiler alert: 50% speed up) resulting from it. This is an example of thinking outside of the box when it comes to improving your documentation processes by implementing DevOps, a methodology usually used in software development and release. CD and ARA can be applied to processes used by enterprise teams as well as small teams or groups in other areas of your business. The implementations are similar – only the process details are different. Presented by: Jennifer Chew, Nuage Networks Jennifer Chew is a senior technical writer at Nuage Networks in Mountain View, CA. Prior to this, she worked at Electric Cloud, Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems, and IBM. She is always looking for ways to combine her engineering experience with her writing projects.
  • October 3, 2018 Analysts predict that chatbots will overtake websites and apps as your customers’ preferred interface in the near future. How do you get past the exciting, carefully staged demo presentation into the world of real-life customers? Demos are brief and can be successful with only a few lines of conversation, guided by some simple rules. This is how almost all chatbots work today. But tech content is textual and not rule-based. In fact, it is impossible to revamp the many thousands of pieces of content written for human readers into a formal rules-based system. The problem is how to connect the textual content, in any format or structure, with the inner processes of the bot. One way or another we are going to be having verbal conversations with our devices. We will review the various approaches and what the maturity of this technology allows. Presented by: Fabrice Lacroix is the founder of Fluid Topics, the company that puts enterprise content to work. A serial entrepreneur, he has been working for 25 years on the development of solutions that help customers make the most of their content and enhance their operating efficiency
  • March 4, 2020 Technical documentation is rarely created by lone writers, so there is a constant need for collaboration. Collaboration can be with other writers or with people with other roles, usually referred to as subject matter experts, who may be part of your organization or external experts. In order to be successful, the collaboration needs to be enabled by integrating it as part of the usual processes or workflows each user performs. In this presentation, we will explore a few collaboration scenarios that show how to implement continuous improvement loops for published documentation, how to integrate documentation as part of the product development workflow, and how immediate collaboration can take place. Presented by: George Bina is one of the founders of Syncro Soft SRL, the company that develops oXygen XML suite of XML editing, authoring, development, publishing and collaboration tools. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with XML and related technologies, bringing many innovative ideas to reality and contributing to XML-related open-source projects. He presented at many XML, DITA, and technical communication conferences, giving passionate presentations and challenging the technological status quo, trying to get the audience to think outside the box, and re-imagine the future.
  • February 5, 2019 Your technical content is a valuable yet hidden asset: It impacts every stage of your customer journey and forms a significant - and often, the largest - component of your overall web presence. Easy access to personalized content is therefore key to the overall digital and user experience for your customers. In this webinar we explore the role of taxonomy and metadata to deliver on the promise of role-based and personalized experiences, taking into account a variety of content types. Presented by: Joe Gelb has over twenty years of experience helping enterprises implement, maintain and capitalize on structured content. At Zoomin Software, he has spearheaded the development of advanced technology solutions for dynamic content delivery. Prior to founding Zoomin and Suite Solutions, Joe was the CTO at Live Linx, a leading provider of software and system integration services for technical product information, where he designed and implemented solutions for aerospace, defense, manufacturing and hi-tech companies. Joe holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
  • Recorded: July 1, 2015

    We talk a big game: DITA helps you reuse content with ease. Business cases are built on this promise, but many find the goal elusive. It seems to take just as much effort to manage reusable content as it did to simply copy and paste it. Sure, we might have missed some versions of that content in subsequent updates, but now we can destroy someone else’s deliverables by unwittingly changing content they were reusing. The problems are different, but the impact is the same, as we fail to realize the promised benefits and cost savings. At least in the “good old days” we understood what we were doing – Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, and voila! Everyone could do it! Now we struggle with the difference between a keyref and conkeyref, we can’t decide whether to use a conditional attribute or a key, and we have never even made a conref push work, let alone find an application for it. Why isn’t DITA delivering on its reuse promises in so many organizations? In this presentation, Dawn Stevens asserts that the promises can indeed be met, but you must use the right tool for the job. Dawn provides guidance for choosing the appropriate reuse mechanism in the DITA standard as she compares and contrasts each feature, including the forthcoming 1.3 capabilities of scoped keys and branch filtering.

    Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.

    Dawn Stevens is a Senior Consultant specializing in information development, instructional design, and management consulting. With 25 years of experience, including 13 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.

  • August 7, 2018 It's not the same old "here is how to get a CCMS" session you may have heard about or attended before. During this webinar we provide a brief CCMS primer, then dive into core steps to choose a CCMS, and explore a case study of a client who migrated 2 years ago. We explore their drivers for a CCMS, the numbers that make them tick, and where they are two years later. Real data, real history, real ideas. Presented by: Bernard Aschwanden has excelled in technical communication as a trainer, courseware developer, team leader, manager, and business owner. A Past President of the STC and the founder of Publishing Smarter, Bernard works with organizations to create, manage, and distribute content based on technical communication best practices. He guides companies on how to make the business case that content is the most crucial business asset.
  • Date: October 2, 2019 Prior to DITA, there wasn’t much we could do when it came to strategizing with the rest of the enterprise and pooling our tools, processes, and content. That’s no longer the case; as we see more and more DITA adoption from many expected and unexpected divisions, from Training and Support to Academic Publishers, Operations and Insurance. A unified, DITA-driven, enterprise-wide approach to content can have a profound impact on the enterprise. When content created by the enterprise is treated as a valued and valuable corporate asset, it’s a win-win-win situation. It’s more efficient for the enterprise and easier for content creators. But end users reap the real benefit by getting the content they need when they need it. In this webinar, Bernard Aschwanden, will take you through 10 ways in which DITA can help drive unified content strategy. Presented by: Bernard solves documentation-based problems and helps companies generate more revenue. He guides clients through the best processes to create, manage, and deliver content. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow. He is the founder of Publishing Smarter (www.publishingsmarter.com), an Associate Fellow of STC, and a Past President of STC. Bernard has helped hundreds of companies implement successful solutions. He is focused on publishing better, publishing faster, and publishing smarter.