Presentations by local technical writers have shown a surprising diversity of writing and content governance scenarios on mature software companies. Mature companies have unique business problems that require unique technical and human solutions.
On Altitude Software, writers struggle to control the complexity created by the organic growth of a mature software suite. As a response, feature-based documentation was rewritten in 2003 as task-based documentation, and is being rewritten again since 2010 into custom topic patterns.
Over time, Altitude Software learned to hire and train highly technical writers. Technical writers in Altitude Software became professional learners that must learn specific writing techniques, become experts in the product, and approach the background expertise of specific user audiences.
20 Years of Technical Writing at Altitude SoftwarePaper published in the proceedings of ISDOC’14, ISBN 978-1-4503-2713-8/16/05.
Original at http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2618168.2618197Slides presented on 17-May at ISDOC’14PDF slides presented on the conference, featuring the beautiful drawings of Patrícia Magrinho.