Eight persons attended the 14th formal meeting, which happened to be the lowest attendance ever at a formal event. Of course, that did not make the talks any less interesting, or the conversation any less insightful. You just had to be there, for the talks, for the pizza, and for …read more
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 …read more
The editor AsciidocFX turns the plain text format Asciidoc into an insightful drafting tool, even if Asciidoc falls short as a production writing tool.
AsciidocFX customizes the well-known Atom editor to handle AsciiDoc, a plain text format that is much better than Markdown but still weaker than ReStructured Text. AsciiDoc …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
Come Saturday morning, it was surprisingly hard to park next to Atelier Concorde, quite unlike the time that I had visited the before. The meeting was in the project room of Atelier Concorde, fresh out of an exhibition. Three of the walls were covered with drawings. The drawings created a …read more
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 …read more
Five persons attended the informal meeting at the bar “Foxtrot” at Bairro Alto. The first person arrived at 18h30. The group broke up at 22h00. Nobody remembered to take pictures. We were too busy talking...
The conversation ended with a surprising offer for a room. In the future, this room …read more
Fifteen people attended the meeting, including nine people that stayed for lunch.
Mariana set up camp at the entrance, while I prepared the large open space on the first floor. Not knowing how many people to expect, we started at the largest space, where about 50 chairs face a projection …read more
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 …read more
Eight people attended the informal meeting at the bar “Irish & Co.” at Parque das Nações. The first person arrived at 18h00, but two people arrived around 20h00. The group broke up at 21h00.
The chat was varied and lively. We had a few vacation reports (some of us drove all …read more
Nineteen different people attended the meeting, including sixteen in the morning, twelve at lunch, and fourteen in the afternoon. Some people only came in the morning or afternoon.
At the end of the day, I believe that the attendees met new people, enjoyed themselves, and learned. Of course, we always …read more
After the class at FCSH on April 22nd, professor Rute Costa praised the event to her colleagues. Some students did not attend the first class because of scheduling conflicts, so Rute asked us to go back for a second class. We set a new date. Unfortunately, Rui Diogo Serra could …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
As we tried to fit a formal meetup before the end of the year, we faced a shortage of Saturdays. So, we took the opportunity to try something different: a formal meetup in a Thursday evening.
By 7 p.m. we had set up the auditorium. Manuela was thoughtful enough …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
Four people attended the informal meeting: Daniel Bofill, Laura Barros, Carlos Costa, and myself. We met at 18h30, and left at 22h15.
Then we talked …read more
13 persons met for two hours of friendly conversations.
The group started gathering outside but, by 19h30, it was too cold to stay outside. As the six of us were about to occupy two small tables in the corner, more people started to arrive, and the employees quickly set up …read more
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 …read more
Eleven people attended the informal meeting at the terrace of Hotel Altis Avenida (and a few people noticed that there are other Altis Hotels in Lisbon).
The meeting started shortly after 18h00, and the last four people left the hotel at 21h30.
We just talked, together or in small groups …read more
We had 31 registrations, including 21 professionals, 7 teachers, 7 researchers, 3 students, and 1 journalist. We had 26 persons attend the meeting.read more
Being effective means that you make time to tackle your hard-to-solve problems, by solving the easy ones very quickly.read more
Managing a long-term agile team working on continuous improvements to a product creates specific challenges that are not usually felt in project-based approaches …read more
For a technical writer, what is content strategy? And is content strategy relevant if you are not a consultant?
I watched as the new the term "content strategy" appeared and then evolved at the list firstname.lastname@example.org since 2009, and I kept thinking that all these clever people were …read more
Carlos Costa invited me to present my OSDOC'10 paper to his graduate students on open source software at ISCTE. The presentation took place in building ISCTE II, auditorium B203, Saturday, December 18th, at 11h00.
Attendance was open. The expectation is that invited classes at ISCTE might start a local community …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
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 …read more
Just-in-time training workshops earned a reputation for the technical writers and disseminated new knowledge throughout the company, effectively training expert employees on new software releases with a series of light sessions.read more