Content Evolution Panel

This panel brings together industry trends, practical implementation, and academic research to discuss the shifting landscape of how people expect to find, consume, develop, and deliver technical content. The trends in the broader software community are pushing away from gravitational models that place our tools, our writing groups, or even our companies at the center. As industry leaders, we must confront and explore the question of whether the era of DITA is winding down. Chris Gales will illuminate the fundamental issues that face us and the trends that drive them. Carlos Evia will present Lightweight DITA as an evolution of the DITA standard that accommodates collaborative authoring in a variety of formats, including Markdown. Scott Carver will discuss the pressures that led the Ellucian team to implement a unified content strategy that supports a variety of content types such as DITA, Markdown and API documentation. There will be time for questions and group discussion as we consider where our departments stand in relation to other companies, and the kinds of opportunities for success we present to our employees, our cross-functional colleagues, and our customers.

Meet the Presenters

Christopher Gales, Ph.D., is the Senior Director of Documentation for Splunk. He has over 20 years of experience growing and managing globally distributed information-development teams that produce content for end-user, enterprise, and developer audiences. Actively engaged with CIDM since 1999, he has delivered CIDM Best Practices presentations on strategic planning, metrics, and community engagement. He was a member of the Rare Bird Award judging panel from 2004-2017 and serves on the CIDM Advisory Council. Along with other members of the Splunk documentation team, he is the author of The Product is Docs: Writing technical documentation in a product development group.

Carlos Evia is an associate professor of Communication at Virginia Tech, where he also conducts research for the Center in Human-Computer Interaction. He is a voting member of the DITA Technical Committee and co-chair (with Michael Priestley) of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee. Carlos is lead editor of the Lightweight DITA technical specification and author of the book “Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA.”


Scott Carver is a Manager of Information Development at Ellucian, where he leads a team of technical writers that spans the globe. He has over twenty years of experience developing and managing technical communications for software companies and has spent much of his career developing content strategy by looking for ways to improve the content user experience and evolve the people, processes, and tools that support it. Scott holds a degree in English from Santa Clara University and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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