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 Portland, which takes place May 3-5, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. 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 last year 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 2019

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