“I DITA know that.”
Okay, I know that was corny. But I think a little silliness is needed when you cover a complicated subject. At least right now, DITA is a huge challenge for me, and I’m sure it is for other beginners like me out there.
Tech writing has evolved into something quite different from what it was ten years ago when I first contemplated entering the field. It used to be that an English major and mastery of a style guide was enough to land a tech writing job, but these days employers are looking for technical expertise to go along with good writing and editing. I perused many of the job listings and found that knowledge of structured authoring and DITA are top preferences among employers in the technical writing field. So that’s why I set about this blog—to learn what DITA is and how much I need to know in order to land a tech writing job.
I’m starting my DITA journey by reading two books that I bought recently:
DITA Best Practices: A Roadmap for Writing, Editing, and Architecting in DITA (IBM Press) by Laura Bellamy, Michelle Carey and Jenifer Schlotfeldt (October 10, 2011)
Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) (IBM Press) by Gretchen Harqis, Michelle Carey, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Polly Hughes, Deidre Longo, Shannon Rouiller and Elizabeth Wilde
Much of my information comes from these two books. I’ll add to my reading list later on as I learn more about DITA. Also, I’m hoping to gather information from the online DITA community. I’ll list how to find these resources in a later post.
Until then, I’ll post a few basics that I’ve learned about DITA so far. By the way, if you’re a tech writer who can recommend any other resources, please do! I’d love to hear from you.