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Portland Linux/Unix Group

PSU Maseeh Engineering Building
1930 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)

On the lower level, follow the signs.



Portland Linux/Unix Group General Meeting

Who: Jennifer Rondeau
What: Back to the Future: A brief history of software documentation
Where: PSU, 1930 SW 4th Ave. Room FAB 86-01 (Lower Level)
When: Thursday, August 6th, 2015 at 7pmv Why: The pursuit of technology freedom
Stream: http://pdxlinux.org/live

The world of software development rightly demands an emphasis on the new and the innovative -- on doing things differently from how they’ve been done. The assumption is that newer is (almost) always better. But if we look only to the present and the future, we risk reinventing the wheel, failing to understand that we are all built on tradition, failing to learn everything that we could from the past.

This talk shows how documentarians can find inspiration in the past, build on it, and move forward. It tells some of these stories, and shows what they meant in historical context:

  • The pre-history and dawn of software documentation -- how technical writers were hired, how they worked, what they made, the challenges they faced, and how their solutions continue to inform the work we do today

  • The much longer history of teaching engineers to write documentation

  • Efforts to make technical writing into an independent profession

Many will head to the Lucky Lab at 1945 NW Quimby St. after the meeting.

Rideshares Available

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