Technical Communication and Software Documentation
Voichita Ghenghea, Adela Vintea
After several successful events held in the capital, Bucharest, tekom was looking for new business contacts in the North-West region of the country. The area of Cluj-Napoca is well-known for its strong IT service and growing software development sector. That is why the third event of this year focused on technical documentation for software and took place in Cluj-Napoca, on October, 30th 2013.
Introduction of tekom Romania and tekom
Prof. Dr. Voichița Ghenghea (Head of IC tekom Romania) opened the conference and addressed the audience a warm welcome. She also referred to the beginnings of tekom Romania, its aims and prospects, introduced the speakers and invited Herbert Herzke (Vice President of tekom e.V.) to proceed. Mr. Herzke who addressed a short welcoming speech was followed by Anke Mecklenbrauck (international projects, tekom), who spoke about the tekom organization, its past, present and future, as well as about the future tekom Europe which was going to be launched a week later at the tcwolrd conference in Wiesbaden. The conference agenda continued with a number of expert presentations.
Technical Communication as a Business in Europe
In his presentation, Dr. Michael Fritz, the CEO of tekom/tcworld GmbH gave interesting insights into the current state of technical communication in Europe and he insisted on technical communication as a success factor for European companies. Due to the different challenges of our globalized world, many legal requirements, technical challenges, needs of the different world wide audiences and educational standards are to be met. Thus, according to the speaker, technical communication creates a very challenging and profitable business environment that offers career opportunities for many people with different educational background.
HTML: Another Language to Add to your Technical Writer Resume
This presentation was given by Dana-Adriana Prodan who is Lead Technical Writer at Imprezzio Global. According to the the speaker, working in the field of software development, technology is bound to boost again. For the software developer, creating in-house documentation for applications is not just about writing anymore. As a provider of quality, efficiency and flexibility, Imprezzio Global has chosen the HTML which has allowed them to be at-hand, to be interactive and to be quick about it , which are but a few of the benefits of using HTML as an output for documentation.
The Modern Way of Software Documentation
The guest speaker, Prof. Sissi Closs, Owner of C-Topic Consulting, has been active in the field of technical documentation for more than 25 years and has widely contributed to the development of technical documentation in Germany and is an expert in online documentation and XML. In her presentation she showed the modern way of software documentation and demonstrated with accurate hands-on examples how to improve one’s documentation process. Her presentation evoked a strong interest among the participants and made it clear that there is a high demand for learning more about the topic. Sissi Closs was happy to answer many interesting questions from the audience and to continue the discussion even during the networking breaks.
Internationalization and Localization Processes (A Case Study)
The final presentation for the conference day was held by Claudia Vișinescu who works as a Technical Writer at 1&1 Romania. Her speech was focused on the following questions: What do internationalization and localization mean? How do they impact the work of a technical writer? And what challenges raise the mobile world for technical writers and localization managers? The speaker demonstrated in her case study how internationalization and localization can be integrated into the documentation production process. It was a very lively presentation with lots of real-life examples, that were complemented by other examples from participants who have made similar experiences.
Panel discussion on Workflow in the Technical Documentation Department
After the break, Claudia Vișinescu moderated a panel discussion on "Workflow in the TD department". The four panelists were:
- Virginia Bordas, Translation Manager, Atelieruldetraduceri.ro
Mihaela Circa, Technical Editor,1&1 Internet Development SRL
- Prof. Dr. Sissi Closs, Owner, C-Topic Consulting
- Dana-Adriana Prodan, Lead Technical Writer, Imprezzio Global
The conclusions of the panel were the following:
- Establish an organizational environment with clearly defined responsilibilities.
- Define how communication will take place (who communicates what, when, to whom, under which form, what kind of events should trigger a communication act).
- Make your own research on the product.
- Observe the market, users, competitors.
- Define the terminology to be used for the product to be documented.
- Define the target groups (e.g. create personas).
- Model the content of the documentation.
- Choose the tools for creating content.
- Create the content.
- Perform QA tests: check the technical and linguistic accuracy.
- Translate and proofread the content.
- Implement the documentation on the product interface, if needed.
- Perform QA tests of the product with the documentation implemented.
- Release the product.
- Maintain the documentation.
The conference ended with an open discussion between the panelists and the audience. Already during the event there have been several opportunities for discussion and networking, where the participants could interact with the speakers, raise questions and express opinions. There was a lot of interest displayed in networking on a national scale, in order to encourage on the one hand connections between professionals in the field, on the other hand to make technical communication more popular in the general public in Romania. With 50 participants and most of them from the private sector, we consider that the first event tekom Romania organized outside the capital was a great success. It encourages us to continue with our work also in other parts of Romania. It can already be said today that there will be another tekom Romania conference in Cluj-Napoca in 2014.
Here you can download the presentations of the conference as well as the participants list.
- Introduction tekom Romania (Voichita Ghenghea)
- Introduction tekom (Anke Mecklenbrauck)
- Technical Communication as a Business in Europe (Michael Fritz)
- HTML: Another Language to Add to your Technical Writer Resume (Dana-Adriana Prodan)
- The Modern Way of Software Documentation (Sissi Closs)
- Internationalization and Localization Processes (A Case Study) (Claudia Visinescu)