Technical Writing

Six characteristics of good docs

Six characteristics of good docs

Daryl White
Credits: Image by Samson Katt on Pexels Good docs have (at least) six key characteristics: Findable Accessible Legal Accessibility Language Accessibility Scannable Searchable Timely Complete Findable For documentation to be worth the time spent creating it, the user needs to be able to get to those docs when a problem or curiosity creates a need for information. The best docs do nobody any good if they can’t put their hands or eyes on them when they need them.
Leaving Well

Leaving Well

Daryl White
Credits: Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels. There are many flavors of technical writing. Mine is software. One of the constants of any software team is the change that comes with employee churn. People find new opportunities by joining your team. People find new opportunities and leave your team for elsewhere. Sometimes the “people” winds up being you. What can you do to leave well? What steps can we writers take to make sure the baton passes well to the next person, whoever that next person may be?
Editing and Gathering Feedback

Editing and Gathering Feedback

Daryl White
Credits: Image credit: Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels I would also like to thank the tech writers in the Write the Docs Slack’s #lone-writer channel for bringing these ideas to the top of my mind. Everyone suffers from a bias of familiarity when looking at our docs. Once you read something once, the next time you read it the mind can anticipate and insert what it remembers and expects to be there.
What good are docs?

What good are docs?

Daryl White
Credits: Image by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels Are docs a good investment? One of the challenges every documentarian faces is justifying the investment in docs. Whether that investment is salary training and professional development expanded doc team tooling dev help for site development It can feel like we technical writers are always battling it out for the company’s money. And, often, the experience is that the money for conferences or books or a new team member goes to other teams instead.
Community

Community

Daryl White
Credits: Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels. Technical writing can be an introvert’s dream. (I know, I am one!) That said, there are two communities that every tech writer needs to develop to thrive in our work. Network of co-workers and subject matter experts Other tech writers for support and professional development Why are these communities vital? And how does a tech writer go about developing them?