1. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (June-2018, Farfetch)

    Greetings to all technical writers, and to everyone interested in technical communication!

    It's been a long time since our last formal meeting... but we're back!

    • Tuesday, June 26th, 19h00-21h00.
    • Farfetch Lisbon office.
    • Rua do Instituto Industrial 7 - 3rd floor, 1200-225 Lisboa (a 10 minute walk from Cais do Sodré).
    • There …
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  2. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (May-2017, Farfetch)

    The 13th formal meeting was spurred by opportunity. Rosário Durão was passing through Portugal, and the date suddenly emerged as the only option to hear her in Lisbon. Farfetch accepted to host an evening meetup in the new Lisbon office, but required one of the speakers to be from Farfetch …

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  3. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (March-2017, Feedzai)

    After some weeks of preparation, we finally held the 12th edition of Technical Writers @ Lisbon, this time at Feedzai's Lisbon office in Parque das Nações.

    Participants started arriving before and around 9AM as scheduled in a joyful mood and commenting about the amazing office view overlooking the Tagus river. We …

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  4. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (Nov-2016, IPS)

    This 11th formal session introduced the roles and tasks of technical writers to MSc. students in Management of Information Systems.

    The class has ten working students, which attend the classes after their regular work. Students arrived at their own pace, with Prof. Ângela Nobre using the initial time to …

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  5. Ways of visualizing science and technology: Results of an ethnographic pilot study with Portuguese and US engineers

    Eleven people attended the presentation by Rosário Durão at ISCTE. She presented her ongoing research on ways of visualizing science and technology.

    The VISTAC research project aims to distinguish between what is universal and what is culturally specific in visuals and visual conceptualization in different parts of the world.

    The …

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  6. Technical Writing for Portuguese Product Companies

    The economic crisis in Portugal stimulated the creation of product companies that sell worldwide. Over time, these companies accumulate a capital of knowledge (technical, domain, user) that benefits from governance and engineering by dedicated professionals, traditionally called technical writers.

    Technical writers have the ability to learn, organize, and transform knowledge …

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  7. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (May-2015, ISCTE)

    Carlos Costa challenged me to give a class on the importance of technical writing to his students of Software Engineering. However, he warned me that these students preferred technical topics and might despise management topics, for example. In the end, I decided to approach this class by recounting 21 of …

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  8. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (April-2015, FCSH)

    Looking back at what Technical Writers @ Lisbon has achieved in the last two years, we surprised ourselves with the interest and quality of the presentations at our formal events. However, only a handful of people attended each presentation, and few people attended all of them.

    Professor Rute Costa accepted our …

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  9. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (March-2015, informal)

    Twelve people attended the informal meeting at the bar “39 degraus” (29 steps) at Cinemateca Portuguesa.

    The first person arrived before 18h00, but the conversation started shortly after 18h10. People kept arriving as late at 20h00. Eleven people stayed for dinner, mostly with a choice of burgers or fresh pasta …

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  10. Project presentation, EditorsLab in Lisbon

    The five minutes of presentation by the CódigoPro team were based on the seven slides below. I added the main points made on each slide.


    Slide 1
    Traditional business model

    Since I knew that most people in the room did not know CódigoPro, I spent precious minutes explaining the strengths of their …

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  11. Secretary of State, EditorsLab in Lisbon

    Pedro Lomba, Secretary of State, visited the EditorsLab on Friday morning. Pedro has the curiously long title of “Adjunct Secretary of State of the Adjunct Minister for Regional Development”.

    Pedro publicly stated his enthusiasm for technology. He believes that journalism is not over, because individual creativity is not over.

    As …

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  12. Data driven journalism, EditorsLab in Lisbon

    Ricardo Lafuente of Journalism++ talked about data journalism. He talked Thursday at 15:30, in Portuguese.

    Ricardo started by recalling that, in 2013, the New York Times interactive had 18 journalists and 30 graphical designers. If we have less money than them, we must remain frugal.

    In summary:

    1. Use free …
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  13. What is the EditorsLab?, EditorsLab in Lisbon

    In the words of Evangeline de Bourgoing (the program manager), the goal of EditorsLab is to build innovative prototypes, to encourage innovation in the newsroom, and to encourage collaboration between the journalist, the designer and the developers, that are not as used to work together.

    • The Global Editors Network is …
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  14. EditorsLab in Lisbon

    For the first time, the Global Editors Network brought to Portugal the EditorsLab friendly competition, in association with Google and the Portuguese Publishers Association (APImprensa). The competition happened at CENJOR, February 26 and 27th, 2015.

    Competing teams comprise a journalist, a designer and a developer. I was invited to participate …

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  15. All skills on deck!

    As I clean my desk at Altitude Software in the week before my final dismissal, I stumble across my old ID card for “Clube EASYPHONE”. I can hardly recognize myself in the photo. I've lost that beard years ago! Where did that 30-year old boy from 1998 go?

    It was …

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  16. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (June-2014, informal)

    Seven people attended the informal meeting at the terrace of Hotel Altis Avenida. This time, everyone found the correct Altis hotel.

    The meeting started shortly after 18h00, and we broke-up the meeting after 20h30. However, four people had a follow-up conversation at Starbucks, and two of those continued the conversation …

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  17. 3rd APCOMTEC meeting in Aveiro

    Four people shared a car from Lisbon to Aveiro in order to attend the third technical communication meeting by APCOMTEC, the Portuguese association of Technical Writers. In particular, I had the company of Maria Spínola, Laura Barros, and Carlos Costa.

    Everyone agreed that getting out of bed early enough to …

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  18. 20 Years of Technical Writing at Altitude Software

    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 …

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  19. Practitioners and academia at ISDOC'2014

    ISDOC‘2014 (Information Systems and Design of Communication) benefited from crossing the growing traditions of EuroSIGDOC conferences in Lisbon and informal practitioner meetings in Lisbon. Everyone involved was important.

    There was a warm atmosphere at the conference this year that contrasted with the contemplative mood typical in previous years. This …

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  20. Technical Writers @ Lisbon (October-2013)

    We had just 11 registrations, including organizers and speakers, but we also expected about 15 students of MOSS (Masters on Open Source Software) to attend. For personal reasons, several past participants informed us that they would not be able to attend.

    24 persons attended the meetup, including 14 MOSS students …

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  21. The Birth of a Company-Wide Wiki

    A small software company with a worldwide presence uses one wiki to store or access most company information. Using open source software, the wiki started as a small team tool and then grew to reach technical people. An innovative content strategy proposal later extended the reach of the wiki to …

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  22. Good ideas can still become sins

    The Seven Deadly Sins of Management by Jonathan Ellis and René Tissen Profile Books, 2003 ISBN 1-86197-526-0

    I read this book in the Summer of 2003, after the NASDAQ bubble burst that took part of Altitude Software with it. The book explains how good ideas can go bad and, in …

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  23. My first management book

    The Leader-Manager: Guidelines for Action by William D. Hitt IEEE Press, 1988 ISBN 935470409

    This was my first book about management. I bought it as soon as it became apparent that I might became a manager later on, which means that I bought it in 1997 and probably read it …

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  24. Pragmatic DITA on a Budget

    A small documentation team working on a tight budget can now use the tool ecosystem enabled by the DITA standard to create the sophisticated content that previously required long and expensive projects. The author spent just nine person-weeks over three years to replace a custom XML system with a DITA …

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  25. Agile Documentation with uScrum

    uScrum (uncertainty Scrum) is an agile process developed by a small team at Altitude Software to manage the process of gathering information and writing documentation.

    uScrum proposes different practices to estimate tasks, depending on their difficulty as defined by an order of ignorance. Understanding the difficulty of tasks has allowed …

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