soap! 2017

the best content conference

June 7-9 | Krakow, Poland

soap! is an exceptional conference any Content Professional will appreciate. We aren’t afraid to ask difficult questions, share real-life experiences, discuss problems. With the crowd of wonderful soapers – hungry for knowledge, tech-aware professionals – we share experiences and skills during workshops and talks, make meaningful connections and friends, have fun, and much more. soap! is an extraordinary, international community. Come join us.


Want to learn how we define content?

speakers & trainers

Kristina Mausser

Kina’ole, Canada

Maryland Sara

SAP Hybris, Germany

Oded Ilan

Iridize, Israel

Adam Sanyo

ARM, Hungary

Marta Bartnicka

IBM Translation Services Center, Poland

Anton Bollen

TechSmith, Germany

Meike Chabowski

SUSE Linux, Germany

Barbara Szwarc

SAP Hybris, Germany

Justyna Adamczyk

SAP Hybris, Gliwice, Poland

Mateusz Wiktor

Braintribe, Austria

Natalia Katryńska

Senior Technical Writer, Poland

Alan Miller

Simply Consulting, UK

Brad Schmidt

MSD, Czech Republic

Dagmara Szostak

GET IT Language Solutions, Poland

Tomasz Poznański

Motorola Solutions, Poland

Joanna Malicka

Motorola Solutions, Poland

Wojciech Aleksander

GetResponse, Poland

Rahel Anne Bailie

Scroll LLP, United Kingdom

Daniel Barrio Fierro

Dolby Laboratories, Poland

Małgorzata Pytel

Flik, Poland

Dirk Göhmann

Appway, Switzerland

Cate Mackenzie

Appway, Switzerland

Paddy McShane

Optimal Workshop, Ireland

Tomasz Prus

Unit4, Poland

Matthias Kraus

CEO, Xeditor, Germany

Jarek Orłowski

Dynatrace, Poland

Łukasz Górnicki

SAP Hybris, Poland

Szymon Serwatka

Dassault Systemes, Poland

Patrick Bosek

easyDITA, US

Stefan Gentz

Adobe Systems GmbH, Germany

Piotr Nabielec, Poland


day 1, June 8

warm welcome
User documentation vs loser documentation: Great content, no readers?
▨ Dirk Göhmann & Cate Mackenzie
Senior Technical Writer, Community Content Editor – Appway, Switzerland
▨ 40 min
If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it… did it make a sound?
If a document appears in your knowledge base but nobody reads it…? Then YOU should make some noise!
A Technical Writer’s core job responsibility is researching and authoring help topics. We’re not going to argue with that. But putting words and diagrams on a page is a first step, not the last. A well-researched topic, authored in full compliance with your style guide is great – but not enough to ensure that your users benefit from the content.
Producing useful content is more than just writing. Rooted in our experience at a growing micro-multinational company, we focus on activities that should be on your radar as a technical communicator:
• Findability
• Analytics
• User testing
• Engaging readers
What the tag? From Wiki to DITA CMS in less than 80 days
▨ Barbara Szwarc & Justyna Adamczyk & Mateusz Wiktor
SAP Hybris, SAP Hybris, Braintribe – Germany, Poland, Austria
▨ 40 min
We would like to share our experiences with transitioning from the good old wiki to DITA CMS. Embark with us on this treacherous journey from the Land Of No Versioning to XMHelL, learn what lies ahead and how many troll-infested bridges you need to cross to reach the DITA castle and become the king of all topics! Transitioning from the wiki to DITA CMS wasn’t easy but it turned out to be a great success for us, so we want to share our knowledge and experiences with anyone who wants to benefit from them.
coffee break
The yin-yang of technical writing. Solve your problems to the user’s advantage
▨ Jarek Orłowski
Lead Information Developer, Dynatrace, Poland
▨ 40 min
I believe technical writers sometimes worry too much about their toys. Don’t get me wrong, tools are nifty and are a vital part of our wizardry. What’s not to love? At the end of the page, there’s always the reader who does not build his or her relationship with the product based on the fascinating details of our DITA implementation. I’ve been there too and took quite a few wrong turns before getting onto the right path. I’d like to tell my tale, lead you through some of the most interesting real-life cases and share my findings on what it takes to find peace and harmony in your technical writing. See you in Kraków!
“Done! Oh, wait… we need translation.” Facilitating content translation process
▨ Dagmara Szostak
Project Management Specialist, GET IT Language Solutions, Poland
▨ 40 min
Many companies, including those operating in areas such as electronics, pharmaceutics, power industry, as well as finance & law, generate considerable amount of various types of content, which often turns out to be problematic. Those problems pertain to many different aspects of content management (or lack thereof): terminology, file format and file preparation, re-use, linguistic quality, readability, platform and system integration, etc. In our presentation, we are going to go through some of those problems and their possible solutions, and possibly trigger a discussion about status and importance of translation in content management workflow.
Translation as a part of content management process can be easily overlooked. Preparing content appropriately may greatly facilitate translation: shorten turnaround times, avoid mistakes and, last but not least, decrease costs. The more content and more languages there are in your workflow, the more important it is to pay attention to the source quality. We believe that covering this topic, however short or superficial it might seem for such a vast subject, might greatly raise awareness and help improve both content management and translation/localization management processes.
Finding your way back from Documentation Mordor
▨ Natalia Katryńska
Senior Technical Writer, Poland
▨ 25 min
I would like to present a variety of documentation hurdles and how to deal with them on a daily basis. Being a Technical Writer, you are very often the only documentation expert in a development team/project. Thus, you must know how to not only face
common documentation issues, but also how to challenge yourself, how to jump over your own shadow, in trying to deliver the best-quality docs. This I call “dealing with documentation demons” :). In other words, the uncommon issues that happen from
time to time when delivering a software product and where the Technical Writer comes in to provide the best solutions possible as a documentation specialist. Having more than five years experience in technical writing, I am going to give some real-life
examples that explain goals and expectations as well as obstacles that can occur during such processes. To be more specific, these examples will relate to task managements in the ad-hoc world-wide project as well scaling documentation development
found therein. In other words, how to fall into documentation Mordor, only to quickly get back to Middle-Earth safely.
More than just a technical writer
▨ Maryland Sara
Information Developer, SAP Hybris, Germany
▨ 25 min
I’d like to share how Technical Writers can step up to the challenge of being Scrum Masters in an Agile team. We can wear multiple hats – be a writer and a scrum master at the same time! In this way, we can show that we can do more, share more, and
become more valuable!
lunch break
Problems you can solve and create with DITA
▨ Patrick Bosek
Co-founder & Director of Customer Success, easyDITA, US
▨ 50 min
more info soon
Documenting microservices
▨ Łukasz Górnicki
Product Owner, SAP Hybris, Poland
▨ 40 min
The talk is about how microservices architecture change approach to documentation not only from technical side but also how organization has to change.
coffee break
No documentation strategy? Build one from scratch!
▨ Tomek Prus
Documentation Manager, Unit4, Poland
▨ 40 min

I believe ‘documentation strategy’ is a set of ingredients, without which you are not able to support your customers and give them appropriate assistance.

There are lots of great books and fascinating articles about ‘content strategy’ and how it should be designed. However, I could not found enough information on how to solve practical problems, like:

▨ Defining audience
▨ Determining documentation types
▨ Setting-up processes and aligning them with engineers’ way of working
▨ Finally, building a successful documentation team.

I want to tell you my story and shed some light on potential problems you might have in early stages of building a new documentation team. I will share my recent experiences from very demanding and rapidly evolving ERP SW industry.

Need more problems? Start localizing videos!
▨ Anton Bollen
Technology Evangelist, TechSmith, Germany
▨ 25 min
Video is a popular and powerful medium for conveying information and its use is continuing to grow in many sectors and industries. By 2017, many companies have taken first steps with video, ran pilot projects, gained experience and are fully incorporating
video into their learning, marketing and documentation strategies. Video is no longer bonus content. It has become an expectation and competitive advantage for many. So far, so good. Using video as a primary part of a content strategy has introduced
a new problem: How do you make your video content available to a global audience? The content needs to be scaled and made available to your global audience. Translating a video might seem simple, but it has many problems, ranging from budget to
distribution to cultural differences.Drawing from the input from global companies, video creators, translation agencies and 10+ years experience of localizing videos myself, this talk will explore common themes, best practices and many
lessons learned to help attendees create better videos while minimizing the problems with video localization.
What 1000 participants taught me about productivity
▨ Piotr Nabielec
Chief Productivity Officer,, Poland
▨ 25 min

During last 2 years over 1000 people went through my “personal and team productivity” trainings and online courses. In this presentation I would like to give an overview of the techniques and tools that people rated as the most helpful and also compare regular trainings and online courses and what makes them both effective.

Day 1 closing ceremony
Networking @ Manggha
Live concert: Kirszenbaum @ Przystan Wawel, Bulwar Czerwienski 3

day 2, June 9

warm welcome
Overcoming the Forgetting Curve: New Content Creation Paradigms
▨ Oded Ilan
Chief Marketing Officer,Iridize, Israel
▨ 25 min

In this session, attendees will learn:

▨About the Forgetting Curve and what it implies
▨About the forgetting curve in product support & training
▨Why this is becoming more and more complicated – and important – with
actual examples of human behavior via Iridize guides
▨How technology intrinsically disrupts our understanding of how to handle problems
▨Looking to the future – how can new technology allow technical communicators to offer more
creative solutions to organization for improving support and training and increasing customer satisfaction.

Quality technical training – Making things happen
▨ Szymon Serwatka & Gosia Pytel
Learning Manager, Dassault Systemes, Poland
▨ 40 min
I want to share our success story from this year where we managed to convert our technical training from purely classroom to a blended classroom/self-paced, developed great working relationships with experts, aligned the training to a competences matrix, and ended the year with a certification program.
Always open – Open source documentation with open tools
▨ Meike Chabowski
Documentation Strategist, SUSE Linux, Germany
▨ 25 min
You might have heard about SUSE already – we are a pioneer in open source software and provide interoperable Linux and cloud infrastructure and storage solutions. But did you know that we also publish all of our product documentation at SUSE under
an open document license, such as the GNU Free Documentation License, or Creative Commons? And did you know that we mainly use open (source) tools during the processes for the creation of our guides, quick starts, best practices? Sometimes challenging
– but when we miss an open tool needed for our purposes, we just develop it ourselves …. If you are curious to hear more about these tools and processes, just join the talk. Afterwards we can also discuss how even our readers can influence the
quality and output of the SUSE documentation work.
coffee break
Reducing waste in a project with conflicting needs. The story of the 33 miners
▨ Adam Sanyo
Senior Information Developer, ARM, Hungary
▨ 40 min
In mid-2015, a new project was started to migrate and publish all of ARM’s external documents into a new web platform. The project seemed relatively easy, but as time went on, everything got a little bit complicated. In this talk, I would like to
discuss how projects like this could be managed more effectively and how each stage of a project can be improved from the technical writer’s point of view.
Our content sucks, right..!?!?
▨ Alan Miller
Managing Director, Simply Consulting, UK
▨ 40 min
Content is super important to any organisation and yet it’s often poorly understood, part of other processes and functions and / or viewed negatively with a focus on what needs to be improved rather than what it’s delivering. This session will help
content professionals take control of the narrative, increase understanding and raise the profile of content and content teams so that it’s viewed as a critical specialism on a par with it’s peers. I’ll show how to deal with the ‘Amateur Speculators’
and the ‘Opinions and Arseholes’ phenomenon to transform Content into a commercial specialism acknowledged for driving your company and delighting your customers.
lunch break
The Convergence of Marketing and Technical Communication
▨ Stefan Gentz
Worldwide TechComm Evangelist, Adobe Systems GmbH, Germany
▨ 40 min
For the last decade most discussions in technical documentation where all about automation, moving to xml and structured content, improving quality, managing technical documentation more efficiently, and of course: reducing costs. Now it’s time to talk about the customer experience. And it’s time to talk about the customer journey.
In this session Stefan Gentz, Worldwide TechComm Evangelist for Adobe, will discuss the communication of technical content and how it’s becoming increasingly important to understand technical communication as marketing communication. The ability to blend marketing content and technical content into a unified customer experience becomes key to success. The foundation for this is dynamic, intelligent content that enables personalization and multi-channel content delivery to communicate with customers in all possible ways.
Customer success and UX – The ultimate tag team
▨ Paddy McShane
Customer Success Manager, Optimal Workshop, Ireland
▨ 25 min
In this talk I will show the link between UX design and making customers successful. As a Customer Success Manager (CSM) I help users of Optimal Workshop’s tools get value from their subscription and ultimately improve their IA. To do this, we as CSMs use UX design to communicate effectively and use the appropriate language in order to create trust between the us and the customer, we define users and help humanise our organisation, all whilst trying attract the right potential users and ward off those who simply don’t need us. (Sales teams shriek around now!) Finally, I talk about the use of ‘friction’ in our UX Design to help users stop, take a breath and decide; ‘is this the software for me?’ With a healthy dose of Jurassic Park showing how bad UX can make for some very unsuccessful customers, this presentation promises to show practical insight into how two very different fields can integrate successfully when developing and maintaining products.
Remote Collaboration for Introverted Geeks and Misanthropes
▨ Brad Schmidt
Documentation Specialist, MSD, Czech Republic
▨ 25 min
Being talented, energetic, and experienced doesn’t make engaging with people we’ve never met face to face come naturally. Yet modern work culture requires that we collaborate with colleagues globally – with little or no interaction outside of the
scope of project work. How do competent, but naturally reclusive individuals engage, connect to, and build rapport with often equally reclusive team members? How can we get the contributions we need without being a pain in the neck? I’d like to
share a few techniques from the world of UX, broadcasting, and pop psychology that may help.
coffee break
How to turn local success into global failure
▨ Marta Bartnicka
Manager for CEE, IBM Translation Services Center, Poland
▨ 40 min
Applications, web pages or documentation can easily reach outside the country where they were created – but only if designed by INTERNATIONALIZATION rules. Localizing content that was not created with i18n in mind is either costly, or impossible,
or both. I intend to present the main internationalization rules using some best and also some worst examples from real-life localization projects. The opportunities are growing to go global with an online shop, an app or a booking portal, yet the
content creators repeat the same mistakes for the last 20 years. Presenting a few of DOs and DONTs, I hope to inspire my audience to a broader research on how to produce their content as “ready to go global”.
Rethinking your content. Happifying through improved usability
▨ Joanna Malicka & Tomasz Poznanski
Learning Services Project Manager, Content Designer – Motorola Solutions, Poland
▨ 25 min

Have you ever felt stuck with the current shape of your documentation portfolio? Including only correct technical information, without paying attention to the content format, does not guarantee success.

In this short makeover story – featuring a before-and-after UX twist – we will present a solution-centered way out: how to change your perspective to technical communication in a range of aspects.

happy break
Keynote: Inspiring action through content leadership
▨ Kristina Mausser
President and Senior Content Strategy Consultant, Kina’ole, Canada
▨ 40 min
Content creators know how to harness the power of empathy to enliven storytelling, increase engagement, and inspire conversations. We are even carefully attuned to choosing language that establishes connection and communicates understanding of the
commonalities of experience that we share with our audiences. But empathy can only get us so far in the corporate realm of buy-in and budgets. Sometimes problem-solving when working with multi-disciplinary teams needs more than just a whole-hearted
attempt to understand each other and our feelings. In a world where the lines between channels and disciplines are increasingly blurred, and teams from diverse backgrounds must work together to create seamless content experiences, veteran content
strategist Kristina Mausser shares ways in which we can move beyond empathy towards something much more powerful, and much more effective for the content that we create and the global audiences that it serves.
Day 2 closing ceremony
After party @ T.E.A. Time, Dietla 1 Street


No matter what type of content you create, you always encounter problems. Complex or not – they like to pop up.

In the worst-case scenario it’s the user who encounters these problems. Imagine you’ve just finished assembling your brand new 2×2.5 meters wardrobe. You go to the last step of the manual which says: “Add 4 safety elements between the wardrobe and the floor”. Yes, it’s a real-life scenario!

At soap! 2017, we will share our problem-solving experiences to help each other deal with their content-related problems better.


our main sponsor

easyDITA is an all-inclusive, cloud-based DITA authoring tool and component content management system (CCMS) that makes it easy for organizations to create, share, and reuse information.

Everything you need to author, manage, translate, and publish your content is combined into one solution. Content is stored in a web-based, single-source repository where both authors and subject matter experts (SMEs) can access it and collaborate using easyDITA’s intuitive tools.

easyDITA was developed by Jorsek LLC, a Rochester, NY-based software development company dedicated to creating the next generation of documentation and information management tools.

our second main sponsor

Adobe has revolutionized how the world engages with ideas and information. Their award-winning software and technologies have set the gold standard in communication and collaboration for more than 30 years.

Adobe’s Technical Communication group delivers best-in-class tools, systems and services that help businesses streamline content workflows end-to-end. With their cutting-edge solutions, teams can effortlessly collaborate on the creation of ground-breaking content, manage and reuse assets efficiently, and seamlessly publish it across multiple channels and devices. Published content can be tailored to audiences, increasing relevance and consumption. All this, and more, while offering the highest return on investment.




To talk about visual design and advantages of one font over another, drop a line to Karolina. If you’d like to sponsor soap! or become our partner and help the community grow, write to Aga. If you are interested in speaking at soap!, Piotr is the guy you want to contact. If you would like to get to know the head of soap!, contact Gosia.