Work

Reading time: 3 mins

Amongst the many internet trends – the commercialisation of happiness, the quasi-religion of productivity approaches – there is one phrase that makes my toes curl and my blood start to simmer. “Do what you love.” It’s a distillation of a thought first offered by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have…

I am Dolly Parton

Reading time: 2 mins

This post is brought to you by the Dolly Parton song ‘Nine to Five’. You’re welcome (hey, it’s been stuck in my head for days now, just thought I’d share the joy). As I think I’ve mentioned, I got a new job late last year. I now work in a big office (well, two, actually)…

Professional Pride

Reading time: 2 mins

My official job title is Product Operations Manager. I’m still not quite sure what that means as the role is still fairly new to me, and to the company. My main day to day role is to help the team of Product Managers, Product Architects, Business Analysts and UX designers shape and scope out the…

House of Cards: What can I learn?

Reading time: 2 mins

Fear not, I am a fan of House of Cards so there are no spoilers here, a fair spattering of melodrama perhaps but that’s all mine and, for what it’s worth, I quite enjoy it. I am easily affected. I take on traits, mannerisms and tropes with no real forethought and file it as part…

If I wasn’t doing this

Reading time: 2 mins

What would I be doing? When people ask me, if you could do anything, what job would you do? Well, I tend to flippantly respond by saying that I’d be a Zookeeper. Part of me believes that. The part that loves animals, that finds them fascinating and would love to spend more time around them. Part of…

Insomnia

Reading time: < 1 min

I’ve had insomnia on and off for years but in the last year or so it’s started to occur more frequently. I’m starting to figure it out though and it’s definitely work related. It seems that, during periods of high stress, my insomnia kicks in. Beyond that I’m a bit hazy about why I wake…

The Best Google Reader alternative

Reading time: 2 mins

It was only back in December that I pondered this but with the news that Google Reader is to shut down I find myself revisiting some of those choices. I still use Google Reader heavily, I consume it mostly through the website itself and via Reeder on my iPad, so it’s annoying that they are pulling…

Everything Changes

Reading time: 2 mins

A new year, a fresh challenge. I’ve been working in the Technical Communications field my entire career. From those first days, stumbling my way around FrameMaker 4 with only a vague idea of what I should be doing (and largely using the FrameMaker User Guide as a sample of both approach and layout) to my…

Going Global

Reading time: 3 mins

One of the challenges the team will face this year is how to coordinate the creation of product documentation with geographically dispersed teams, across different product lines. At present we have engineering teams in Glasgow, Belfast, Limerick, Jakarta, Sunnyvale CA, and Bedford NH, building four products and maintaining five other legacy applications. Currently we have six technical…

Ho Ho HOLIDAY!!

Reading time: 2 mins

The festive season is upon us, cards have been posted, presents have been bought, and in a couple of hours I’ll head home, leaving work behind until early January. 2012 has been an interesting year. We started the year with a challenge, one of making the information we produce ‘findable’. Cutting across more than 20,000…

Going Paid

Reading time: 3 mins

Yes, I know, first world problems and all that, shut up… With the news that Instagram can now start selling my photos, something I didn’t agree to when I signed up, I’ve been looking at what services I use the most and wondering if I might be better to switch all my online/digital actions to…

Stop the conversations

Reading time: 2 mins

In the New Year we are instituting a No Talking rule in my office. If anyone has a question, they have to write it down and pass it to a colleague who will then write down their response. This should cut down on the amount of chatter and conversation that, obviously, is having a huge…

A New Normal

Reading time: 2 mins

I’m currently cruising high in the sky above the USA, on my way from San Francisco to Boston. It’s part of a whistle stop tour of two of our offices here which have teams of software engineers, architects and product managers (no technical writers though) that are building part of the product we will be…

Everything is too much

Reading time: 2 mins

For the last few months, the team have been rebuilding and restructure our content. We’ve ditched the idea of ‘guides’ for now (although we will revisit those early next year) and after a lot of hard work we are starting to build out new groupings of content. The process has involved a lot of analysis,…

Stealth Mode

Reading time: 2 mins

I don’t know about you but I’m getting fed up trying to make everyone realise the value of what we do. Technical Communicators of the world unite! Why is it so darn hard? Isn’t it obvious? We live in a so-called “information age” after all, so why is it such a struggle to get the…