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Mary Connor
Austin, TX
Documentation architect for Agile software development, using any tool and platform that makes sense
Interests: developer documentation, user experience, universal design, software documentation, single-sourcing, process automation, wiki docs, information system design, web-based help and e-learning development, agile and scrum, community-based documentation
Recent Activity
To delete Confluence spaces quickly, import a dummy Word file to blow away the space contents before attempting the deletion. Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Clever Hamster
This month's Write The Docs ATX meetup featured Ian Buchanan, Senior Developer Advocate at Atlassian: Future-Proof Your Tech Writing Skills with Specification by Example. He was inspired by reading Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software (Gojko... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at Clever Hamster
The 4th annual conference for Agile Austin (Keep Austin Agile) was high-energy, plush, and well-attended. The day was a bit of a blur for me, with the excitement of presenting my session and doing interviews, such as for Agile Amped.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at Clever Hamster
Particularly in Agile shops, it's critical to grab information opportunistically: when that subject matter expert finally comes up for air long enough to discuss that new implementation you've heard was coming, drop everything and grab a basket to catch that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2015 at Clever Hamster
Oh, happy dance! I've been working in Microsoft Word again (for a content migration project) and I just broke through a major pain point: I figured out how to design style-driven numbered lists that won't go wonky or ever need... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at Clever Hamster
For my own benefit, I'm writing this quick list of goodies and action items from the notes that I jotted down from the Software User Assistance conference this week: Remember "pave the cowpaths" — let users develop footpaths and use... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Clever Hamster
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I'm watching the Acrolinx webinar recording, Learn How CA Technologies Broke the Rules - their DocOps Approach to Agile, with great interest, as it explores the "DocOps" concept in a tangible case study. The presenter is Jim Turcotte, SVP, Business... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Clever Hamster
Thanks, Jackie! I will definitely dig deeper into options for Chromebook as a work machine. Seems every day I hear about new angles (such as Adobe offering cloud-based use of their tools) that brings that reality closer.
Toggle Commented Nov 1, 2014 on Chromebooks at work? at Clever Hamster
I've been madly in love with my Samsung Chromebook ever since I shamelessly stole it from my early-adopter husband (and I'm not the only one who's done this, I've found). Its tiny price, feather weight, cool operation, and long battery... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at Clever Hamster
Now that more development teams are using Google Docs to develop project artifacts, it's worth looking at optional add-ons that will build out the functionality that we need. One that fills a real need is Letter Feed Workflows for Documents... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Clever Hamster
Office Labs (yes, that exists!) has come up with a Prezi emulator, what it calls "Plex technology". It's a plug-in to PowerPoint that lets you not only zoom in and out of slide sections but also vault between slides that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at Clever Hamster
Internal training is a project that often falls onto the shoulders of technical writers, regardless of our instructional design background. Why? Availability and expedience, as it's typical for training resources to be jealously protected for end-user training. (It's the same... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Screenshot rot is a persistent misery for all content production, and it will remain so until we fundamentally automate how we obtain and reference screenshots (tools such as Dr.Explain are trying). It's tempting to avoid screenshot use to escape the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2013 at Clever Hamster
The challenge: I needed to build internal and external versions of Help from the same source. Putting internal-only information into the Help project itself lets me single-source content and lets staff search across all relevant information, without jumping between sites.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Who has permission to read complete product documentation? It's by far the easier, softer way to make content fully public; however, as enterprise Help migrates to the web, this requirement to apply content security (access control) is surfacing more and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Looking for a cloud-based platform for social publishing (books, media) and community support (forums, blogs)? One that works off-the-shelf the same day and that you can afford? Check out Drupal Gardens. It's Drupal 7, fully hosted by Acquia (enterprise Drupal... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Free recorded seminars on tech comm topics: http://www.madcapsoftware.com/resources/recordedwebinars.aspx#industry Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2013 at Clever Hamster
When I'm asked, "Are you doing Agile?", the implicit question is: "Are you doing Agile the way I do it?" Therefore, the honest answer is almost always "No". And the differences in how each shop practices it are as telling... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Here's a growing list of what I'm noodling on of late. I've been trying to answer the question of what an ideal Agile platform should have, to support fast and lean documentation (both creation and maintenance). Much is shaped by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Technique for creating videos for conceptual content, using PowerPoint plus Camtasia: http://www.elearningacademy.com.au/blog/2013/03/how-i-make-my-videos-using-ppt-and-camtasia/ Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Happy! Implemented a token file in my Sandcastle project, so I can effectively use variables and boilerplates throughout the conceptual content. http://www.ewoodruff.us/shfbdocs/Index.aspx?topic=html/ed6870bb-772d-4596-9fc1-5638ae6d621b.htm Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Slides on "Open Documentation", Mozilla Developer Network - Eric Shepherd @sheppy and Janet Swisher @jmswisher http://www.slideshare.net/janetswisher/stc-tc-opendocumentation Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Scarce tech comm talent: developer-writers (authors for APIs) and writer-developers (coders for doc deliverables) Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2013 at Clever Hamster
Just upgraded to Sandcastle Help File Builder 1.9.6.0: the Guided Installation package was beautifully crafted! Eric Woodruff rocks. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2013 at Clever Hamster
What is effective UX when your user is a developer? http://uxmag.com/articles/effective-developer-experience Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2013 at Clever Hamster