Presentations by Julie Atkins and Mike McGinnis

Serving Authors’ Needs in a Brave New DITA World

Tridium has been looking critically at ways to address the information architect problem and general process issues for content maintenance. They’re concerned about new authors transitioning from a book-paradigm to a topic-paradigm writing style. Information architects are great, but it’s a hard role to hold and harder still for many people to track the real web that gets constructed when content splits into many little topics, which are reused in many different places and contexts. It has been an interesting journey, and they’re trying things that are inside and outside their comfort zones to find something that works best for their team and their content.

In this presentation, you will hear about one team’s journey to develop strategies to author documentation in a DITA world, methodologies for improving reuse visibility to ease the burden on the authoring team, and how they have not only engineered their content, but also their processes and collaboration methods to successfully take the entire team into a new dynamic publishing world. You’ll get practical advice that you can use right away.

About Julie Atkins and Mike McGinnis
Senior Technical Writer, Tridium

Julie AtkinsJulie Atkins is an senior technical writer and owner of her own writing consultancy. She brings to the implementation of single-sourcing systems the same ability to simplify complicated instructions that wins her awards for her user documentation. It is one thing to talk about the potential benefits of single sourcing. It is quite another to actually make the jump from a document-centered approach to a topic-centered paradigm.

As a long-time advocate for single-sourcing and reuse strategies, Julie developed her own personal reuse procedures using the standard file structure and FrameMaker. More recently, she has worked with Single-Sourcing Solutions to establish authoring procedures and practices using a Windchill-based content management system and Arbortext Editor. Julie’s vision for how to put single-sourcing concepts into practice in the real world is leading the way with her clients.

Mike McGinnisMike McGinnis is a Technical Writer at Tridium, Inc. a software company in Richmond, VA. After 8 years in the USAF, Mike began his technical writing career by working
on military and civilian projects as a writer and project manager. For the past 10 years Mike has worked with a team of writers to provide documentation for users of Tridium’s NiagaraAX software and hardware products. As Tridium has grown, Mike has helped the Tridium the technical publications group meet their increasing documentation requirements by implementing structured authoring and single – sourcing methods using the DocBook specification. Most recently, Mike has led the Tridium team into the process of adopting a Component Content Management System and moving to the DITA standard.