As I sit down to write this, a troubled and challenging 2015 has just drawn to a close. It has been a difficult year filled with terrifying violence and outrageous acts of intolerance. Whenever another hateful act of terrorism filled the news feed, I would find myself despairing for the future of humanity.
Luckily, all I had to do to return to a more optimistic frame of mind was to remember what I do: creating orderly meaning out of chaos and making life-changing technology accessible to users. I make things better. In fact, all of us as technical communicators (TCs) make things better.
And what makes this even more optimistic is that most of us do so in an environment of open-minded pluralism. After over 35 years in hi-tech, I can honestly say that I have been exposed to endless examples of optimism, creativity, generosity, and other fine characteristics that raise the human spirit. I can think of few professions that so consistently build bridges of international cooperation than the technical fraternity of software and documentation.
At the beginning of my career, I worked for a small software startup in southern California. The company developed highly technical software for signal ...
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