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Tech Comm Trends: Providing Value as a Generalist in a Sea of Specialists

Join us for our May Chapter meeting, featuring Tom Johnson, blogger, influencer, and Amazon technical writer.
Trends in technical communication can be hard to decipher, even when looking at data. But one underlying trend is that technology seems to be getting more specialized and complex. This trend toward specialization is driving up the value of technical knowledge, making it more prized than writing skills. To handle the complexity, technical writers may find that they are playing increasingly collaborative roles with engineers to create the needed documentation. To drive up their value in organizations, technical writers should look for ways to collaborate more skillfully with engineers in creating content.


  • The growing complexity in the technology landscape is ratcheting up the importance of technical knowledge in organizations, overshadowing writing skills.
  • Creating documentation is becoming more of a collaborative effort with engineers due to the increasing level of complexity and specialization in the technology landscape.
  • Documentation processes are moving towards docs-as-code tools in part because engineers are more involved in the authoring processes, and they prefer to use tools they’re familiar with.

About Our Presenter:

Tom Johnson is a senior technical writer at Amazon in Sunnyvale, California. He is best known for his blog http://idratherbewriting.com, where he posts regularly on tech comm topics and has one of the largest followings of technical communicators online. Additionally, he has created an extensive web API documentation course (http:/idratherbewriting.com/learnapidoc) that has helped hundreds of technical writers transition into API documentation. Lately he has been working on a series of essays around simplifying complexity (http://idratherbewriting.com/simplifying-complexity) — a topic he believes is core to increasing value in our discipline. He has given more than 90 presentations over the past decade at various tech comm events. Always open to trying new things, Tom enjoys exploring and discussing ways to innovate in the tech comm space. Tom’s website is at https://idratherbewriting.com/

To learn more and register at: https://tom_johnson.eventbrite.com


Date: May 21, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Cost: $20
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University of Washington – The Tower

4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle, 98195 United States

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  • 6-6:45 pm socialize and appetizers
  • 6:45 - 7 pm chapter business
  • 7-8:15 pm Presentation
  • 8:15-8:30 pm socialize and clean up
  • 8:30 pm end