Who Writes the Docs?


In the wider tech writer world, it’s still common to hear tech writers be certain that developers can’t write good help: the prevailing sense is “Only we can do this.” But those same tech writers often feel under threat in their jobs - feeling like their organisation doesn’t see their value, doesn’t understand what they do.

Who should write the docs? Should all developers write docs as a matter of course? Is it even worthwhile having specialist writers?

In this talk I’ll try to find some answers to these questions, based on my experience working in many teams - both in teams that have valued tech writing and in teams that haven’t. I’ll talk about the ‘documentarian’ mindset and how that contributes to better software, no matter what your job title is.

I’ll also explore the benefits that come from specialist writers and generalist developers working together. And I’ll share the ways I’ve found that people with specialist writer skills (whether they’re developers, tech writers, or other roles) can make the biggest difference to user experience, and through that to their organisations.

  • Conference: Write the Docs PORTLAND
  • Year: 2018

About the speaker

Beth Aitman