Marshall Documentation Consulting: Our Talks
Ed gives talks on the following topics:

APIs / SDKs: Breaking into this Specialty Market
Explains what these products are, who uses them, why technical writers might want to get into
this niche and how to do so.  Demonstrates how you can use tools such as Doxygen and
Javadoc to read specially formatted comments in the source code to produce your

Also available as a half-day or full day workshop (with hands-on exercises for Doxygen and
Javadoc using the NetBeans IDE).

Archiving Projects
Covers the how, what, why, when of backing up projects, but not specific tools.

Best Practices for Converting from FrameMaker to Flare
Deciding whether to use Flare for both authoring and publishing or as an output channel for your
FrameMaker source files. Best practices for selecting test documents for trial conversions.
Preparing your source files for efficient conversions. Recommended conversion settings.
Running sample conversions and evaluating the output. Documenting the steps and settings
that work for your documentation set.

Best Practices for Converting From Tools
Focuses on the best practices that apply when converting from one tool to another, regardless of
the tools involved. By following the practices described in this talk, you should find your
conversion process will go much more smoothly.

Best Practices for Telecommuting /  Working with Remote Project Teams
Describes Ed's experiences working as the sole US-based writer on a team where the rest of
the team was based in Belgium and the experiences of another writer, who worked on a "project
from hell." Best practices are described as gleaned from interviewing several managers and

Effective Job Search Techniques Using Social Media
Introduces some of the more popular and helpful professional / social networking Web sites,
such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, etc. Discusses examples from my experience of
how being listed on these have improved my network for job leads / sources of information, not
just of jobs, but of technologies. Discusses what to look for when considering adding your
profile to a site; such as how to determine if the site is legitimate or is merely "trolling" for names
for their own profit.

Introduction for Web Services for Technical Communicators
Currently, under development. Introduces Web Services and how they are used to solve
business problems. Discusses examples of Web Services being used / developed by widely
known companies. Defines the common components of Web Services. Discusses current
trends for the use of Web Services and why this is an important area for technical
communicators. Demonstrates a sample Web Services application.

Peer-editing / Proofreading for the Sole Writer
Describes a methodical top-down approach to doing either task. Provides checklists for both
printed / online documentation, along with sample exercises. Also available as a half-day

Using File Management Systems  / Source Code Control Systems Effectively
A sequel to the Archiving Projects talk. Compares / contrasts Microsoft Visual SourceSafe and
Perforce. Gives tips and best practices that you won't find in the help.

Useful Shareware for Technical Communicators
Covers advanced text editors, search and replace tools, file / folder level comparison tools;
anti-virus, spyware, ad-ware, and other tools to "let the computer do the working."  Shows how  to
use these tools, regardless of what authoring tool you use, to save you time and increase your
speed and accuracy.

Working Successfully as a Consultant/Contractor
This talk includes factors that led to his decision to "go independent," personality traits useful in
this mode, necessary skills, best practices, deciding what type of business to license,
equipment/home office considerations, and best practices for records keeping
(income/expenses). Also discusses working directly, that is, not going through an agency.