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40+ Tips to Improve your Grammar and Punctuation
If you don't have your Strunk & White handy, this covers some of it. Purdue University maintains an online writing lab and I spent some time digging through it. Originally the goal was to grab some good tips that would help me out at work and on this site, but there is simply too much not to share...
5 Aug 2008
More Team System User Education on Scenario Topics
Head over to the Team System User Education blog to get a look at a sample of what David Chesnut is calling scenario topics (from an earlier post: Team System User Education on Scenario Topics ), and be sure to give him some feedback with your thoughts. Sample Help File for Scenario Topics If you have...
2 Jan 2008
Team System User Education on Scenario Topics
Take a look at a proposal ( Visual Studio Team System User Education : Scenario Topics ) from David Chesnut of the Team System User Education Team that looks to replace the current orientation-style topics found in the product documentation with something a bit more useful. As always, your feedback is...
25 Jun 2007
No Writers Were Harmed in the Writing of Our Documentation
I was tickled to see that some Team System documentation made it on to The Daily WTF today (not SQL Server 2005 docs as noted in the post), and I'm happy to report that nobody was murdered while writing them. Susan (we don't have a Mark on the Team System doc team) fixed the error and we'll have the...
23 Feb 2007
J.D. Meier on Test-Driven Guidance
When J.D. Meier showed me early releases of Guidance Explorer , one of the things I found interesting was his developer mindset to apply test cases to content development. Today, he wrote up a post about it ( J.D. Meier's Blog : Test-Driven Guidance ). If you're an author or a reviewer, this technique...
21 Nov 2006
Guidance for Guidance Explorer
J.D. Meier posted some guidance on authoring prescriptive guidance modules for Guidance Explorer : How To Write Prescriptive Guidance Modules He also has a post that provides some general guidance on writing prescriptive guidance: Writing Prescriptive Guidelines For those who don't...
9 Oct 2006
Sandcastle August CTP
You may recall a release in July of the first Sandcastle CTP ( Sandcastle - Documenting Managed Class Libraries ). A couple of days ago, we released an August CTP, which you can download here: Sandcastle August CTP Download . For a full list of new features, and a list of bug fixes, see: Sandcastle August...
29 Aug 2006
Sandcastle - Documenting Managed Class Libraries
If you've always wanted to create MSDN-like documentation for your managed class libraries, you'll want to take a look at a project called Sandcastle . For an overview of this project, see Sandcastle Overview , which includes an attached PowerPoint presentation about it. The first CTP is now available...
30 Jul 2006
Creating a Documentation System Model
David Chesnut, a writer on the Team System User Education team who works on the docs for Team Foundation Server, wrote a post for the Team System User Education blog that applies principles from the Theory of Constraints to identify and understand the bottlenecks in our current documentation workflow...
6 Jul 2006
patterns & practices Guidance Explorer
Last week I paid a visit to J.D. Meier over in patterns & practices to take a look at Guidance Explorer , which is a relatively new project on GotDotNet. I've been relatively quiet these past few weeks, getting ready to release our patterns & practices Guidance Explorer. Guidance Explorer...
23 May 2006
Write about the 'here and now', or the 'soon to be'?
Last month, I wrote a post about Community Technology Previews (CTPs) and what I thought about them ( Team System Community Technology Previews (CTPs) ). On Friday, Josh Ledgard wrote an extensive post ( Adding to, but not Perverting the Beta Process ) in which he addresses some concerns ( Beta Perversion...
10 Jan 2005
Help Still Wanted: Two Programming Writers for Visual Studio Team System
My team (Visual Studio Team System User Education) now has TWO openings for a Programming Writer , which is a technical writer who writes reference and conceptual documentation for the developer audience. Here're the listings from the Microsoft Careers site: Do you thrive on change? Are you always interested...
7 Dec 2004
Betsy Aoki: On Writer's Guilt
My Text is not my own ...I am here to give you the real insider scoop on the secret agenda of technology. Disregard who invented the Internet. Ignore the man behind the curtain waving his arms wildly. The secret agenda of technology is to make writers feel guilty.
17 Nov 2004
Channel 9: Constanze Roman on Being a Programming Writer
Constanze Roman - Writing documentation for mobile devices Mike Hall took his camcorder over to the mobile devices team and met with Constanze Roman, a programming writer. They talk about what working as a documentation writer is like. Video length: 00:04:51.
17 Nov 2004
Write Less, Write Better
From: mike's web log Peter Cooper has some tips for reducing the size of your text by about two-thirds to substantially improve it and "make it shine." Apropo of our previous discussion of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style .
13 Nov 2004
Two quotes that hit the spot for me today: "Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them." - John Ruskin "A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for...
10 Nov 2004
Help Wanted: Programming Writer for Visual Studio Team System
My team (Visual Studio Team System User Education) is looking for a Programming Writer , which is a technical writer who writes reference and conceptual documentation for the developer audience. Here's the listing from the Microsoft Careers site: Programming Writer Do you thrive on change? Are you always...
5 Nov 2004
Chris Sells - How do you become an MSDN author?
Chris Sells - How do you become an MSDN author? Chris Sells, program manager at MSDN and the guy who runs the Longhorn Developer Center on MSDN, talks about how you too can write for MSDN.
4 Nov 2004
Using Personas to Create User Documentation
The most recent edition of the Cooper Newsletter (2004, Issue 4) from Cooper has a great article that expands on the principle that a writer should know their audience: Using Personas to Create User Documentation by Steve Calde Personas and other user-modeling techniques are often...
25 Oct 2004
The Résumé: The Tech Writer Candidate's First Hurdle
I found this post from Deeptanshu Verma to be an interesting read that made me chuckle. Imaginative hiring techniques... So I get this email from a guy on the Windows security team, they are looking for more people and this email was to existing MS employees enquiring if they wanted to move to the team...
20 Aug 2004
On Technical Writing
Jean-Luc David , a published author of books and articles , shares some of his advice on technical writing: On Technical Writing Apart from the work I do as a freelance developer, I enjoy writing books and articles for a variety of publications including ASPToday.com, XML.com and Builder.com. During...
21 Jun 2004
Blog like nobody's reading
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." - Satchel Paige I've had a lot of false starts when it comes to blogging. I think this blog marks my fifth or sixth attempt since 2002. Why such a lousy batting record? Well, for one, I'm a professional...
20 May 2004
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