DITA production (multi-department)

IBM Analytics, Commerce, and Systems

25 March 2016


  • PHP
  • CakePHP
  • MySQL
  • jQuery
  • Ant
  • SOAP
  • Agile
  • Leadership


Since 2011, I’ve been on small team that develops and maintains the documentation production environment for products in the Analytics, Commerce, and Systems groups. I now lead the team of 3 developers and 5 other contributors, releasing refreshes every few weeks to keep up with the changes in corporate documentation management strategies.

Brett Johnson started and initially led the group. Previously, he contributed to the documentation build and test system I had set up for our particular product. When he left the product team he was able to rally support and work on this common production system for the entire lab. Knowing the quality of my work, he invited me to help develop the new system, which I had done part-time until mid-2015 when I became lead.

Brett does a great job describing the system in detail.

Until I became lead, my major contribution to the system was the translation component, from packaging and sending to receiving and testing to deployment.

My most recent major development contributions:

  • A SOAP API to request and receive data from the central translation planning system, to more effectively drive the automated workflow used for local planning, processing of packages, and testing.

  • A basic REST API to enable our new additional translation servers to communicate with our main translation server, and the automated workflow that ensures the correct server handles the request.

  • An installable package of the system for distribution to teams in other organizations. This work also contributed to my streamlining of the update process on our own five servers, easing our more frequent deployments.