Lessons Learned in a Year of Docs-Driven Development


Though the concept of docs-driven development has been around for more than ten years (and was even featured in a WTD newsletter back in August 2017), few teams seem to practice it, and many have never even heard of it.

About one year ago, our company decided to move our product development process from “docs or it didn’t happen” to “docs or it won’t happen.” What has followed has been a journey of habit-breaking and poking through unfamiliar territory, while finding real rewards in increased efficiency and transparency across teams.

I’ll describe aspects of our experience as both guide and cautionary tale for others who might take the journey themselves:

  • How leadership influenced our move to docs-driven dev
  • What the process looks like for us: “Starting slow to go fast”
  • Areas where we stumbled
  • Solutions that helped scaffold areas of weakness
  • Examples where docs changed the direction of development
  • Responses from other teams like marketing and support
  • Challenges we’re still working on
  • How we hope to improve
  • Conference: Write the Docs PORTLAND
  • Year: 2019

About the speaker

Jessica Parsons