Chantel Brathwaite

Chantel Brathwaite has been writing technical and business materials for private
and government contracting companies since 1996. Like many technical writers,
her entrance to the field was serendipitous; she was music demo. When she discovered
that she could combine her passions for writing, multimedia, and teaching in
one career field she was hooked. She discovered Techwr-L in 1999 and immediately found a community of writers with whom she could share information with and grow.

Over the course of her career she has written and illustrated technical documentation,
designed software user interfaces, maintained and designed web sites, created
computer based training, and much more. Today, Chantel works as a technical
writer for a military training simulation company. She also owns Absolute North
Communications, through which she provides non-fiction and fiction freelance writing services. She enjoys writing about how to apply digital media, storytelling techniques,
and educational theory to create compelling and usable documentation. She also
enjoys writing about career development, new technologies, and trends in the field.

Chantel has a BA in Communications from the University of Maryland and an MA in Digital Media from the University of Central Florida. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling and making music.

Technical Writing on a Shoestring: Open Source Tools That Can Save Your Technical Writing Department Money

The current economic decline has decimated many technical writing department budgets. But, the demand for quality documentation and training material has not abated. As more companies compete for a smaller customer base, the ability to create software that is easy to use and that also provides the customer with a wide variety of options for help is critical. How can you, as a technical writer offer top-notch documentation and help materials on a tight budget? While there are several facets to this question, selection of tools is paramount. One of the most obvious ways to save money is to use open source, low cost, or free software. Continue reading ...

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems and the Single Technical Writer

For years, writers saddled with a shoestring budget and a plethora of data would resort to creating a manual filing system or use a version control system. Both of these solutions were quick and effective for text-based data with static illustrations, where collaboration among content creators is minimal. But, the sole technical writer who creates text-based documentation with no outside input is quickly becoming an endangered species. Changing consumer demands for content are impacting the documentation process. Today’s consumers expect more video content and more visual data. Continue reading ...