Writer? Editor? Teacher?


Chances are that if you work on documentation, you consider yourself all three of these. But how often do you think about these roles in isolation? What's the payoff of doing so?

This talk will explore each of these perspectives in turn and will make the case that doing so can produce more empathetic, impactful, and relevant documentation. It will draw on my past experiences as an academic researcher and teacher, as well as my current work as a technical writer and editor.

Topics we'll cover:

  • Teaching philosophy: Do you have one? Is it visible to your readers? How does it motivate your writing?
  • Formative/summative exercises, learning from design, and other helpful terms from the teaching profession: What are the desired learning outcomes of your documentation? How are you getting to these outcomes? How do you measure success?
  • Thinking like an editor: What are the most common recommendations that editors make to technical writers? How can you turn these around to improve your work as a writer?
  • Thinking like a writer: What are some challenges specific to writing and how can thinking of yourself as a teacher and editor help you address them?

The goal for attendees will be to leave with some actionable insights that they can apply to their own work in the field. By breaking apart the roles and perspectives that go into producing documentation, we can grow in our understanding of what we do and make our work that much more useful to others.

  • Conference: Write the Docs PORTLAND
  • Year: 2019

About the speaker

Kathleen Juell