By: R.D. Sharninghouse
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the IHOP near UCF, the “Orlando Central” Florida Chapter STC held their monthly meeting. The topic was Emerging Trends in Tech Comm and How to Jumpstart Your Technical Skills. This topic was presented by UCF Alumnus and software technical writer, John Paz, who was visiting us from Sydney, Australia.
One of the most intriguing presentations I have seen. John went over emerging trends in tech comm by sharing his experiences as an employee with Atlassian. The description of his work environment was very uplifting for those of us who may feel in a rut at times where we work. Employees are given autonomy in the workplace. They have a sense of freedom to break away from the monotony of typical office life. Giving employees self-directed time, a collaborative culture, funding and support, and a culture of experimentation allows for passion, dedication, and innovation to flourish. For example, employees have what’s called “20% time” where they can spend 20% of their time on personal projects, maximizing productivity.
To keep things in order, other trends are in place to keep a balanced workforce. Embracing transparency, putting the customer first, playing as a team, and building with heart and balance keeps a sense of responsibility. It holds people accountable.
John suggested some things to look into when improving your technical writer skills:
- Agile and Scrum
- Content strategy
- Information architecture
- Content modeling
- Content management systems
- Application Programming Interface (API)
- GIT version control
- XML/DITA structured authoring
- User research/data analysis
John also shared with us that Atlassian is looking for tech Writers. Check out their job portal at www.atlassian.com/jobs. You may have to consider relocating.