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.

List of talks from 2018

  • What Writing Dictionaries Taught Me About Writing Documentation (And What I Had to Unlearn) by Erin McKean
  • The Facts About FAQs by Ashleigh Rentz
  • Starting from Scratch: Finding and Hiring Junior Writers by Sarah Day
  • Audience, Market, Product: Tips for strategic API documentation planning by Bob Watson
  • 7 Essential Tips for the Enlightened Tech Writer by Ted Hudek
  • Making Your Code Examples Shine by Larry Ullman
  • Not the Docs: content and voice on a developer blog by Havi Hoffman
  • Who Writes the Docs? by Beth Aitman
  • Document Yourself: Practical Tips for a Low(er)-Stress Portfolio by Erin Grace
  • Where do I start? The art and practice of documentation triage by Neal Kaplan
  • Building Empathy-Driven Developer Documentation by Kat King
  • What They Don’t Tell You About Creating New Style Guides by Thursday Bram
  • Research like you’re wrong: Lessons from user research gone rogue by Jen Lambourne
  • Graphic Content Warning: The Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Screenshots by Steve Stegelin
  • Rewrite the Docs!: Field Notes from the Radical IT department by Camille Acey
  • Writing the Next Great Tech Book by Brian MacDonald