Convince Your Manager

Convince Your Manager

Do you need help justifying why your employer should send you to Write the Docs? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Based on the experiences of some of our previous attendees, we’ve put together a sample email and list of resources below. Feel free to adapt and share with your manager to show them the many benefits of attending!

Sample email

Remember to change the things in [brackets]!


FROM: [your name]

TO: [your employer or manager’s name]

SUBJECT: Professional Development: Documentation Community Conference

I’d like to attend Write the Docs in Portland, 19-21 May 2019. This three-day event explores the art and science of documentation, and covers a diverse range of topics related to documentation in the software industry.

Write the Docs conferences bring together everyone who writes the docs – Tech Writers, Developers, Developer Relations, Customer Support – making the events an ideal networking opportunity. Each conference successfully combines a number of different event formats to deliver engaging, practical, and timely content.

There is a single track of talks, a parallel unconference event, and a community writing day. The sessions from 2018 will give you a good idea of the kinds of topics covered, many of which are relevant to my work.

Costs:

  • Conference ticket (includes breakfast and lunch) - $500
  • Travel – [fill in with estimate]
  • Accommodation – – [fill in with estimate]

Benefits:

  • Discovering solutions to problems I’m facing at work
  • Exposure to the latest ideas, techniques, and tools for software docs
  • Opportunity to learn from the best doc teams in the industry
  • Building professional connections with other documentarians

Thanks in advance, [your name]


Resources

When discussing how to pitch the conference, a few generally helpful tips emerged:

  • Highlight a few specific talks that relate to ongoing projects at work. (This one’s dependent on pitching after the talk line up has been announced).
  • If your company is looking to hire another documentarian, the job fair and networking at the event are an excellent resource.
  • Don’t forget that one of the benefits to your attendance is that it raises the visibility of your company in the community. If your team wants a reputation for caring about their docs, having people at Write the Docs is a great way to do that.

In addition, it can be useful to share some info about previous conferences. You can find the websites for previous events on Conferences, and a quick list of last year’s talks down below. But perhaps more useful might be some of the info in our Press Kit, which includes community testimonials, photos, and more.

This year’s talks

  • Show Me the Money: How to Get Your Docs the Love and Support They Deserve by Matt Reiner
  • Tutorials, Tooltips, and Popups…oh MY! How to ease yourself and your users into in-app messaging. by Meghan Mahar
  • SDK Reference Manuals: A flow-based approach by Chris Bush
  • How to edit other people’s content without pissing them off by Ingrid Towey
  • Documenting for Open Source by Shannon Crabill
  • Bam! The Power of Comics to Explain Technology by Syne Mitchell, Allen Tsai
  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Command Line by Mike Jang
  • Draw the Docs by Alicia Woodside, Alicja Raszkowska
  • Lessons Learned in a Year of Docs-Driven Development by Jessica Parsons
  • Localize the Docs! by Paul Wallace
  • Writer? Editor? Teacher? by Kathleen Juell
  • Any friend of the docs is a friend of mine: Cultivating a community of documentation advocates by Heather Stenson
  • Harvest Past Experience to be a Great Tech Writer by Mark F Iverson
  • Just Add Data: Make it easier to prioritize your documentation by Sarah Moir
  • Defying the Status Quo: How a grassroots effort can transform an organization by Jodie Putrino
  • Product Documentation Strategy: What Is It and Why Do We Need It? by Kay Miles