Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna-logo

Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna

Technology Podcasts

Inside Tech Comm is a show for anyone interested in learning more about technical communication. It will also be of interest to those who are new to the field or career-switchers exploring creative ways to expand their horizon. You can write to me at I would love to hear from you.


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Inside Tech Comm is a show for anyone interested in learning more about technical communication. It will also be of interest to those who are new to the field or career-switchers exploring creative ways to expand their horizon. You can write to me at I would love to hear from you.




S4E5 Navigating the Future of AI-Driven Writing

The show notes for this episode were created with the help of Cohost AI from Buzzsprout. Ever wondered how networking and vulnerability can open doors to incredible writing opportunities? Join me as I chat with the incredibly talented Kathleen Majorsky, a writer who has recently forayed into user-testing of AI tools which is both inspiring and eye-opening. By confronting her fears and setting daily goals, Kathleen has been able to learn and engage in different types of AI writing tools. Companies take note - listening to users like Kathleen can lead to invaluable insights and improvements. Listen in to uncover the fascinating connection between AI tools, user feedback, and the future of writing. As AI technology progresses, ethical considerations become paramount. Kathleen and I discuss the importance of transparency, guardrails, and responsible AI implementation. With her expertise in journalism and critical media literacy, we explore how we can all contribute to shaping a safer and more ethical AI future. Don't miss out on this riveting conversation about the intersection of writing, networking, and AI technology! Guest Bio Kathleen Majorsky is a talented multi-faceted writer with experience in writing everything from marketing content to technical communication training, and creative fiction. Right now, she is leaping into A.I. tool exploration as a self-proclaimed beginner. Her A.I. adventure inspires opinions about the tool's user experience, thoughts on how the tools could help her be a better writer, and what the world looks like with ethical and humane A.I. use. Currently, she is working with a number of freelance clients, but she remains open to a full-time writing role with a company that aligns with her values. Kathleen's portfolio link: Kathleen's LinkedIn portfolio: Credits RJ Basilio


S4E4 AI and Tech Comm - Using ChatGPT Smartly to Enhance Your Career

Shaughn Kern, my nerdy friend, graces my latest episode. As a technical writer and a code geek, Shaughn has been experimenting with ChatGPT to simplify and automate mundane parts of his day-to-day. In this heart-to-heart conversation, Shaughn shares some great examples that any technical writer can use to move on from the mundane and get creative with ChatGPT's assistance. If you are a technical writer wondering how you can leverage ChatGPT, or for that matter any AI tool, this episode is a must-listen for you. Highlights of the conversation you don't want to miss: Guest Bio Shaughn Kern is a technical writer with a background in technical communication, UX/UI design, and presentations. During his career, Shaughn has mostly worked for small research institutes and software companies where he was the only technical writer. This sparked his interest in writing scripts and utilities to automate mundane, complex, or error-prone tasks. He spends several hours a week researching or building tools that make technical communication more efficient. In addition to his technical communication experience, Shaughn has worked as an adjunct lecturer, writing center coach, and Brazilian jiujitsu instructor. He holds an M.S. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University, where he also earned a B.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication with a concentration in Computer Engineering. His non-work time is devoted to parenting, cooking, and martial arts. Credits RJ Basilio


S4E3 AI Translation - Dos and Don'ts

As AI tools make their mark on every business function, there is an equal proportion of excitement and fear. In the midst of this chaos, it is imperative we take a step back and consider pointers from our translation expert on what AI can and cannot offer. AI may not be the magic pill after all, at least, for the translation industry. Let's dive in. Some questions we dug into: Guest Bio Markus Seebauer is originally from Munich, Germany. Markus founded Gateway Translations Inc. over a decade ago after studying computer science. Gateway started to use AI in the translation of technical documentation in 2014 when most people didn't think about it yet. He has worked on translations into 45 languages with clients from GitHub to General Electric. Credits RJ Basilio


S4E2 Content Research for Better UX

In my latest episode with Erica, we dive into all things related to content research. If you are intrigued, then you are at the right place. We touch upon these questions for a deeper insight: Guest Bio Erica Jorgensen is a staff content designer at and the author of Strategic Content Design: Tools and Research Techniques for Better UX, published in April 2023 by Rosenfeld Media. She's a content designer, content strategist, and team leader determined to bring greater respect to the content field. To that end, Erica speaks frequently at conferences including UXDX USA, UX Lisbon, Microsoft Design Week, the Web Directions Summit, and Button: The Content Design Conference, and on podcasts like The Content Strategy Podcast with Kristina Halvorson and Content Insights podcast with Larry Swanson. In addition to working in content roles for companies of all sizes, she has taught at the University of Washington and Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. Erica earned her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and M.A. from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. In her free time, you can find her exploring Washington State’s wineries or hiking with her husband and rescue dog, Rufus. Credits RJ Basilio


S4E1 Partner up with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Since late November 2022, ChatGPT has revolutionized the AI landscape. In this first episode of Season 4, I share the musings of my interactions with this magic tool. Links to articles I mention in the episode: AI and the future of workWill AI replace technical writersChatGPT briefly went offline after a bug revealed user chat historiesCredits RJ Basilio


S3E9 Smart Strategies for Saving Costs with Machine Translation and Going Global with Lisa Zarfl

Lisa Zarfl comes from the beautiful city of Graz, Austria. I met Lisa at a conference, and her presentation on machine translations inspired me to bring her on the show. In this latest episode, we talk about all things translation. More specifically, machine translation (MT) and how it can help a business reach a global audience while saving costs. We talk about how technical writers can help the company save costs upfront with the translation before they are deep into the process. Tune in right away as Lisa has all the nuggets for you. Some questions we do a deep dive into: Guest Bio In Lisa's own words.. My name is Lisa Zarfl. I’m a project manager and in-house translator at MadTranslations based in Graz/Austria. I have several years of experience in the translation industry, specifically in managing the translation of MadCap Flare projects. My job allows me to follow my passion by combining the technological aspects of documentation with the demands of multilingual environments. You can connect with Lisa on LinkedIn. Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E8 Through the Lens of a Scrum Master - Speak Up and Advocate for Yourself with Jennifer Savage

I have been out of pocket for the summer visiting family in India and taking some time off. I hope you are having a safe and fun summer. I am happy to be back in the saddle... In this latest episode, I chat with Jennifer Savage, a Scrum Master at FinThrive. Since Jennifer was a technical writer back in the day, she has some great nuggets to share on the parallels between the two roles, and how she continues to find value and advocate for us. Isn't that awesome? Well, here are some questions we delve into: Guest Bio In Jennifer's own words... I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism. About the time I was entering the workforce, journalism jobs were few and far between as the print media was transitioning into the online space. My first position out of college was as a newsletter editor/writer for a small publishing company. From there I transitioned into other writing roles over years, from business writing to medical writing to entertainment writing, and ended up in a technical writer role at my current company. I was brought into the company in its early days to create and publish all of the end-user documentation for their software offerings. As a tech writer, I worked on a number of delivery teams using Agile methodologies, and after about 7 years, I moved into a Scrum Master role. I am currently a Senior Scrum Master for several delivery teams at FinThrive, based in Plano. While I enjoy my role as a Scrum Master, I have a soft spot for documentation and have always made sure they get a fair shake in our planning activities when completing product increments for our software updates. I live in Frisco with my husband, my teenage son, and four cats. In my spare time, I volunteer with local animal welfare organizations and enjoy traveling with my family. graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism. About the time I was entering the workforce, journalism jobs were few and far between as the print media was transitioning into the online space. You can connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn. Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E7: Documentation is your Frontline Defense - Find Out How with Caity Cronkhite

Have you ever thought of documentation being sexy? Probably not. Caity Cronkhite argues otherwise. She wholeheartedly believes documentation is sexy. She shares excellent advice for companies and writers to embrace this low-hanging fruit that can get excellent dividends if executed correctly. What did our conversation touch upon? Guest Bio About the founder: Caity was born and raised on a remote farm in rural Indiana. She eventually left her prairie roots to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where she received a degree in Technical Writing and Communication. After college, Caity went west—first to the San Francisco Bay Area, then to Seattle—to start her career as a technical writer and, eventually, an entrepreneur. She is passionate about using her personal and professional experience to uplift others, including advocating for increased labor and wage protections for freelance workers and creating a company that empowers its employees with meaningful career opportunities no matter where they live. Caity currently lives in Seattle, Washington. When she’s not running her company, she enjoys gardening, bodybuilding, road trips, mentoring, and restoring her historic Seattle home. About the business: Caity Cronkhite is the founder and CEO of Good Words LLC. Good Words is the premier technical writing and communications consulting firm, delivering ongoing strategic, management, and implementation support for our clients’ technical writing needs. Good Words’ consultants bring their concise and accurate writing skills and ongoing strategic plans to streamline even the most complex communications for some of the most technically sophisticated companies across industries, from Fortune 500 companies to 5-person startups. For more information, visit us at Some resources worth checking out: Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E6: Embrace Discomfort and Challenge the Status Quo for Advocacy and Visibility with Swapnil Ogale

In this tete-a-tete, Swapnil Ogale shares with us the evolution of technical communication in Australia, especially since the pandemic. Until recently, there was little to no awareness of technical communication at many companies. Swapnil took it upon himself to become the voice of the field, create awareness, and advocate for its adoption and impact on business. Some interesting questions that we dove into: These are the links I refer to in the episode: The Not So Boring Tech WriterAmazon narrativeTemplate for the tech comm retrospectiveIf you are looking for openings, Redocly has opportunities. Click here for doc roles. Guest Bio Swapnil has over 16 years of technical documentation experience across a range of industries in Australia and globally. He currently works as a Technical Writer in the Solutions Engineering team at AWS Australia. Prior to this, he was a Technical Writer Advocate at Redocly, pursuing his passion for writing, along with advocating for the docs-as-code approach for product content. He initiated the Write the Docs community in Australia in 2016 and has been organizing local meetups and the annual national conference. While he is not traveling, stuck reading any book he can lay his hands on, or trying out new food, he presents at technical meetups and conferences about various things around technical writing. Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E5 Delighting Your Customers - How to Craft Meaningful UX as a Content Developer with Ellyn Hassell

Ellyn Hassell says, "I want to delight the customer, I want to make sure that I'm doing everything that I can to make this a really amazing experience, help them get their job done, move through the task, and move on." In this heart-to-heart conversation, Ellyn shares with us her experience and insights to create a delightful experience for the customer. She is continually striving to elevate our profession and earn a seat at the table with other disciplines. Learn the unique ways in which her efforts have contributed to product success in myriad ways, especially in user experience (UX). Some questions we delve into: Some common abbreviations and terms mentioned in this episode: Guest Bio Ellyn Hassell is a Sr. Principal Technical Writer at Blackbaud. She leads multiple efforts around UX writing and user assistance patterns that promote innovation and consistency. Supporting several development teams, Ellyn collaborates across disciplines to create a meaningful impact throughout Blackbaud. Other interests include internationalization, usability, syntax standards, and accessibility with the end goal of delighting Blackbaud customers. Ellyn is a proud alumna of East Carolina University (Go Pirates!) where she holds a B.A. and M.A. in English with a concentration in technical writing. She’s presented at numerous local, district, and international conferences, and served as guest editor of User Experience and several other technical and creative publications. Ellyn lives with her husband and two children on the beautiful Chickahominy River in Williamsburg, VA. You can connect with Ellyn on LinkedIn. Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E4 Through the Lens of QA and Project Management - Discussion on Why Writers Matter! with Tejasvi Patil

In this episode, we explore how content is created, consumed and distributed at an offshore service-based company. Tejasvi Patil shares with us her journey from QA into project management. Tejasvi shines a light on what successful content creation looks like on her team, and the pitfalls of inadequate documentation. Some topics that we touched upon: Guest Bio Tejasvi Patil carries with her a vast experience of 16 years in the IT industry. She has been working at Globant for the past 5 years. Tejasvi completed her Computer Engineering and began her career as a Quality Assurance Engineer. Recently, she transitioned into being a Project Manager. Her vast experience in the quality domain has helped her understand what's most important in the industry is client satisfaction. Her current role is helping her grow professionally and personally. Being a people person makes her job a cakewalk. Audio Engineer - RJ Basilio


S3E3 Through the Lens of a Product Manager - Discussion on Why Writers Matter! with Bill Glynn

In this episode, Bill Glynn shares with us some interesting insights on his background as a product manager, and what collaboration looks like from his perspective. We dive into these questions to understand the big picture and what is at stake: Guest Bio Bill Glynn has over twenty years of experience in product management utilizing waterfall, agile/scrum, and kanban processes to develop hardware and SaaS-based products for service providers and large-scale enterprise customers around the world. Bill earned his undergraduate software engineering degree from UMASS Boston and his MBA from Boston College. You can connect with Bill on LinkedIn. Credits Audio Engineer - Raymond Joseph (RJ) Basilio


S3E2 Through the Lens of a UX Designer - Discussion on Why Writers Matter! with Matt Rife

In this quick chat with Matt, we talk about Matt's background and his eventual journey into UX design. Matt works very closely with UX writers, and my goal is to spotlight what that partnership looks like. We talk about the benefits of that partnership and the challenges when writers are not at the table. Some of the questions we discuss: Guest Bio Matt Rife is an award-winning design professional with more than 15 years of experience spanning a variety of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, HR, non-profit, and the public sector. Matt came to the design world after several years working in IT and uses his unique background to craft exceptional user experiences for the real world. After completing his degree in graphic design he found his way into the nascent world of mobile app design and the rest, as they say, is history. Matt is currently the head of experience design at nThrive, a healthcare technology firm. He is the founder of Fifty Eight Creative and also runs the Pragmatic XD blog. You can contact Matt on his LinkedIn profile or via his website.


S3E1 Discovering the Benefits of Academia and Corporate Partnership with Kim Campbell

We are launching Season 3 with a very special episode. In this interview with Kim Campbell, I embark on a journey to understand how academia is preparing the next generation of technical communicators. My aim is to spotlight how the Department of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas, in particular, is collaborating with the practitioners of the profession to bring a hands-on experience to the students and prepare them for the real world. Kim touches upon the disconnect that exists sometimes between academia and the industry, and how a collaboration between the two is the need of the hour for the betterment of the profession and the community at large. Some questions we touch upon: Guest Bio Kim Sydow Campbell, Ph.D., is a linguist who has been studying workplace language for more than 30 years. She joined the Department of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas in 2016, where she now serves as Director of Corporate Relations, promoting constructive interactions among industry professionals, students, and faculty. When she isn't doing research or teaching, you'll find her cooking, watching movies, swimming, or just hanging with her family and fur babies. You can connect with Kim on LinkedIn at


S2E6 Roadmap to API Writing: Strategies for Success with Robert Delwood

In this final episode of Season 2, Robert Delwood, a former NASA engineer, sheds light on how technical writers can pivot to API writing. It is a special skillset and mindset. Listen to this exclusive episode to find out how you can acquire this skill and make it in this high-in-demand career. Per the website, approximately 2000 APIs are added each year. For each API, roughly 2-3 writers are needed. Given this exponential rise in APIs, there is obviously a growing demand for API writers. But, writers are in short supply, while the pay scale is high. If you want to make it in this niche area, you must have the right attitude. What is it? Some key things we touch upon: Also, if you are a hiring manager looking for API writers, this interview provides great tips on how you can find and fill this role with the right talent. Resources: Guest Bio Robert Delwood is a programmer, writer, and programming writer in Chicago’s legal community. He strives to produce innovative API documentation. He’s been an active writer for more than 20 years, 13 of those with API documentation. He’s also been a titled developer, once even writing NASA software that made sure the space station astronauts had clean underwear each day. If the astronauts themselves don’t appreciate it, the other crew members did.


S2E5 Tips to Sharpen your Job-Searching Skills: Gems from a Recruiter with Olivia Farmer

Somebody has aptly said that "looking for a job is like dating". When you are looking for the perfect job opportunity, the process can be daunting. In this scenario, the recruiter or the talent acquisition manager can be your friend. In this heart-to-heart conversation, Olivia Farmer shares with us the "behind the scenes" of hiring the right talent. As much as the days can be grueling, Olivia reminds us how recruiters can be our advocates during the hiring process. We touch upon all facets of hiring, and the many opportunities for you to shine. For example: Guest Bio Olivia Farmer is a Talent Acquisition (TA) Program Manager at Blackbaud. After working in the TA space across multiple industries, there is one thing she knows to be true - helping people find their dream job and career is what she loves to do. Olivia is a proud graduate of James Madison University and is currently a student at Clemson in their Master of Human Resource Development program. She lives with her partner in crime, Piper the blue heeler, in Charlotte, NC.


S2E4 Don't Quit, Pivot with Denise Kadilak

Denise Kadilak says "show that you've got knowledge about the field and that you are self-motivated, and you're willing to pivot, embrace change. If you can demonstrate that in any way on your resume. That's always going to be a big win." We talk about what to do in an interview and what not to in this fun and fast-paced conversation. Tune in if you are curious about what out-of-the-box hiring looks like. Learn more about what innovative and forward-thinking managers look for in a candidate, and how you can gain that edge as well. Guest Bio Denise Kadilak is an Information Architect and Senior Manager with Blackbaud. Her interests include content and knowledge management, information technologies, and researching just about anything associated with technical communication. In addition to her full-time job with Blackbaud, Denise is a part-time college instructor, teaching technical writing, English composition, and Intro to Literature, and she is a regular presenter at international conferences.


S2E3 Interview for Success: A Hiring Manager Perspective with David Owens

Staying with the theme of Job Search and Career Advancement, David Owens dives deep to give us a hiring manager's perspective on what he looks for in a tech comm candidate for his team. If you think tech comm is all about writing manuals in a silo, then this interview may just open your eyes. The field is fast evolving if you have not noticed, and managers are interviewing to fill non-traditional tech comm roles. Are you game? If not, this conversation promises to give you some great tips on how you can and must pivot if you want to interview for success in a content role. Some questions we touch upon: Guest Bio David Owens is Director of Strategic Content Development at Blackbaud. This multidisciplinary team creates a wide variety of content to support an array of products and services. David believes in building modern skillsets that both help team members achieve their career goals and ultimately benefit Blackbaud customers. As an information developer, David has created feature and API user assistance content in numerous formats for products ranging from an enterprise fundraising CRM application to shrink-wrapped, mass-market software and commercial hardware. David has written articles on topics such as single-sourcing and how to become a “technical” technical writer and is the co-author of “Madcap Flare for Programmers” published by XML Press.


S2E2 Acing That Job Interview with Jack Molisani

In the first episode, Jack Molisani and I talked about how to spruce up your resume. We continue our conversation to discover how to interview for success. Landing that next gig depends as much on your attitude and experience as it does on how you present yourself at the interview. Jack Molisani shares secrets about how to be a hit at a content interview. We ponder these questions: If these questions intrigue you, then this conversation has more hidden nuggets that you will want to discover and apply. Happy Job Hunting!! Guest Bio Jack Molisani is an STC Fellow, a member of the STC Nominating Committee, and the President of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in content professionals (both contract and perm): He’s also the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which hit #5 on Amazon’s Career and Resume Best Seller list. Jack also produces The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and TechComm Management, which will be virtual this year in October:


S2E1 Recruiter Tips for a Killer Resume with Jack Molisani

Season 2 - Job Search and Career Advancement Aren't we always looking for those amazing tips that can improve our chances of getting our next big gig? It all starts with that critical document - the resume. In this debut episode of Season 2, Jack Molisani shares some great insights into the dos and don'ts of things to put on your resume. Some things that we cover: Listen to the episode to find a hidden gift. You don't want to miss it. Guest Bio Jack Molisani is an STC Fellow, a member of the STC Nominating Committee, and the President of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in content professionals (both contract and perm): He’s also the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which hit #5 on Amazon’s Career and Resume Best Seller list. Jack also produces The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and TechComm Management, which will be virtual this year in October: