Christchurch Branch Event: Lessons from software developers and other stories

Chris has been a technical writer for over thirty years. He has developed user and business documentation using Adobe PageMaker, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Word. About 18 months ago Chris had a change in role, which included taking on the maintenance of user documentation in Madcap Flare.

Authoring tools like Madcap Flare or Author-it take a very different approach to document creation. They are essentially content assembly tools, or compilers. Authors create content in small discrete blocks which are then assembled into documents according to predefined Tables of Contents by a discrete build or compile process.

The comparisons with the software development process are striking. So what can we learn from software developers?

In this presentation, the second in the series in which people talk about their jobs, Chris will talk about lessons we can learn from software developers, with examples from his own experiences over the last 18 months. While this presentation will appeal to users of Madcap Flare, Author-it, and similar tools, Chris has a few gems for Microsoft Word and FrameMaker users.

Everyone’s job is interesting – and we'd love to hear about yours. Please get in touch – – and let us know if you’re available to present any time in 2021.

Where and when

Streamliners, 4 Acton Street, Christchurch Central map

Tuesday 27 July. 5:30 pm networking. Meeting from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm.


The cost includes nibbles and drinks.

People who register via the website:

  • Members $11.50 incl GST.
  • Non-members $17.25 incl GST
  • Student members free of charge.

People who pay at the door:

  • Members 15.00 incl GST
  • Non-members $20.00 incl GST
  • Student members free of charge.

Note: Members = members of TechCommNZ and affiliated organisations: NZATD, ASTC, PRINZ

About the speaker

Chris Dorsey has been a technical communicator for more than thirty years, starting out in DSIR. Chris has worked in a range of roles from sole technical writer to publication manager, and once revelled on the glorified title of Distinguished Technical Writer (and still has the business card to prove it). These days, Chris is Senior Technical Writer at Jade Logistics Group, and a closet software developer. Outside of work, Chris maintains an interest in geology, and enjoys renovation and cryptic crosswords.

Event Registration