Workshop: Simplified English for software documentation

Workshop: Simplified English for software documentation

Workshop host: Shumin Chen

Simplified Technical English (STE) started in the aerospace industry, where it emerged as a solution to address language, communication, and documentation challenges. While it initially served the defence sector, STE’s inherent versatility and adaptability have made it remarkably relevant and applicable to various industries.

This workshop explores the evolution of STE from an aerospace standard to its potential in revolutionising documentation practices in the software industry. By embracing STE, participants will gain insights into how this linguistic paradigm shift can help organisations across diverse sectors enhance clarity, efficiency, and comprehension in their software-related communication. The flexibility of Simplified Technical English allows for customisation to suit unique requirements. As the specification primarily involves additions to the dictionary, clients themselves often make customisations to cater to different projects within the organisation.

STE has evolved into a versatile language specification capable of transforming documentation practices across various sectors. Its effectiveness in enhancing safety, efficiency, and clarity has made it applicable to industries far beyond its initial scope. With the power to streamline communication and promote comprehension, STE offers organisations a powerful tool to optimise their technical documentation, regardless of their industry.

New: This workshop offers an interactive, discussion-filled approach to picking up basic STE principles that you can already apply to your software documentation. Everyone at Write the Docs Australia Conference 2023 is welcome to submit a 2-page sample document by 1 December 2023, and we will review and rewrite this for you during the workshop. Email submission:

This unique workshop experience promises to be engaging, interactive, and rigorous. Participants will appreciate how standardise content to

  • Author more efficiently
  • Maximise consistency
  • Facilitate teamwork
  • Facilitate translation
  • Optimise product lifecycle support
  • Reduce the cost of creating and maintaining your documentation



During the workshop we will review, edit, and discuss participants’ own documents to reinforce learning. So, bring a laptop with WiFi and editing capabilities if you can.

Cost (none)

The workshop fee is included in your conference admission. There is no extra charge for the workshop.

Who’s welcome

All conference participants with a budding curiosity about STE are cordially invited! This workshop is designed for technical writers who want to communicate most effectively with a global audience. The workshop content is intended for technical writers but is also greatly relevant for technical enablement managers, instructional designers, training content developers, knowledge managers, team leaders, and anyone intrigued by the idea of using a controlled English vocabulary to enhance the technical communication experience.

Seasoned technical writers are certain to find the content engaging, offering a fresh perspective on the often-controversial nature of the technical English language. The workshop adopts a highly interactive and entertaining format, encouraging participants to engage in lively debates while applying the principles presented. The material is deliberately structured to spark thought-provoking discussions.