Any friend of the docs is a friend of mine: Cultivating a community of documentation advocates


There are always more docs to write than there are people to write them, no matter the size of your documentation team. To get everything done, you need to call in reinforcements... the Friends of the Docs.

At Mapbox, we have an active and engaged group of people, from engineers to product managers to support team members, who help us with documentation. (Our Friends of the Docs have their own Slack handle and everything!) These people help us by writing, contributing to, reviewing, and advocating for documentation at Mapbox. With their assistance, we’re able to move faster and cover far more ground than our small team would be able to do otherwise. This wasn’t just luck or an organic process - we had to carefully cultivate our FotD community. This support system has worked so well for us that we think every documentation team should have Friends of the Docs too! This talk will cover:

  • Who are the Friends of the Docs?
  • How to identify a potential Friend of the Docs.
  • How do they help documentarians?
  • How do documentarians help them?
  • What are the lines of communication?
  • How the relationship will evolve as your docs team grows.
  • What is the role of fun and friendliness in this working relationship?
  • Conference: Write the Docs PORTLAND
  • Year: 2019

About the speaker

Heather Stenson