Diagram Series: Decrypting SME’s Drawings

User documentation that includes different types of graphics is more effective and easier to perceive than monotonous text. A diagram is just one type of graphics that prevails mostly in technical documentation. When creating diagrams on a daily basis, you eventually learn to overcome such difficulties as: vague explanations, inaccurate SMEs’ drawings, abundance of details, or lack of information. As an Information Developer, you must know how to combine these diverse chunks to create consistent graphics in user documentation. In this article, I will discuss some tips on decrypting SME’s drawings to make the process of creating diagrams an interesting and creative experience.

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Book review: “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast”

In the ever-changing work environment, Information Developers must constantly acquire new skills to stay professionally relevant. I assume that we all have our learning strategies and strive for perfection. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. But how often do we give up the mere idea of learning just because we remember the popular theory of 10.000 hours of practice that inevitably separates us form perfection?

Today I would like to share my impression of the book “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast” by Josh Kaufman, one of the world’s top 100 business authors. In his book, Kaufman explains that quick acquisition of any practical skill is possible within just 20 hours – or even less. The book, first published in 2013, became a bestseller right away. Since then, the idea that quick learning is possible keeps making a significant shift in the minds of aspiring learners. Continue reading

Multitasking: lifesaver or necessary evil?

In today’s world, doing one thing at a time is a great luxury. Imagine a situation: you start your working day by checking a dozen of emails and writing your docs then you switch to reviewing your colleague’s topics while preparing for an interview with your SME. Sounds familiar? Sure. We, information developers, have already got used to such a pace. To deliver the best results and ensure customers satisfaction, quite often, we have to be Julius Caesar, who was believed to be capable of writing, reading and giving orders simultaneously. But is it really a productive way of fulfilling our tasks?

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5 TechComm Conferences Not to Miss in 2017

We all have different relationships with Technical Communication. For some of us it’s just started as love at first sight, for others it has been a long term relationship based on love and commitment. But all of us have been waiting for this perfect moment to be asked the question: Are you ready to carry out your New Year resolution and learn something new, grow professionally, and broaden your horizons? If yes, then pack your bags and make some room for good knowledge as the TechComm society prepared something astonishing for you in 2017. Conferences! Because everybody loves conferences, right?

Here is a list of some must-visits in 2017 located in Europe.

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Buzzfeed test: your ideal SME

In her recent post, Natalia Bortkevych very astutely described the typical cases of SME interviews gone wrong.

In truth, when the subject is confusing enough in itself, it helps little to have an SME who has aversion to human race or talks in the “codish” variety of English.

Still, even if your SME is able in every way – approachable, knowledgeable, adorable – it’s no guarantee they will be willing to grant you an interview or a review if they are busy, even if you sorely need it. On the other hand, if you are disposed pleasantly towards each other and get along well, they’re bound to be more cooperative.

And while there are many tips and techniques for building that connection with your SME, sometimes it just happens naturally. It’s much like falling in love – you just have to find the right person.

We have designed this test to help you find out what kind of SME is your natural match!

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