Best practices

The sticker bag

The sticker bag

I talked about this a little bit in Lady Speaker Small Talk , but let me expand. I have a bag of stickers that I take to every conference I go to. This week, I leveled up my game from “gallon ziploc bag of significant antiquity” to “bespoke bag”. It only took me a little while to…

Well, that didn’t go like I imagined

Well, that didn’t go like I imagined

The Toggle Talk As a speaker, there are three things I count on to give a talk: Slides Narrative flow Speaker notes My dependence on these elements decreases as I give a talk multiple times, but I use the slides to help me remember where I am in the narrative even if I don’t refer…

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Packing, optimizing, and satisficing

I’m off on a two-week trip that happens to be broken by an 18 hour stop at home. (Nodevember, North Bay Python, SpringOne Platform, LaunchDarkly writing sprint). Every couple months, I try to clean out my bags entirely, get rid of the trash that accumulates, make sure that I have room for all the new…

Lady Conference Speaker Talk Wrap-Up

Lady Conference Speaker Talk Wrap-Up

I was talking to Bridget Kromhout about her wrap-up process, and she inspired me to a) do a better job publishing my talk information right after I give it, b) talk about my end-of-talk process. So, you have pitched a talk, gotten it accepted, written it, gotten on stage and given it, and answered any…

Our tools shape our worldview, or  Least-bad Confluence techniques

Our tools shape our worldview, or Least-bad Confluence techniques

If you have been in a conference open space with me, you know that I make a terrible yuck face whenever you ask me to talk about working with Confluence. I have yet to work with an instance of Confluence that didn’t make my soul hurt. But it’s not really the technology’s fault if I…

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Retrograde tooling

We've reached a tipping point in technical writing, and we need to deal with it. The future is not going to involve producing documents, it's going to be producing seamlessly integrated content in and around products, and that means we need to change our expectations around tooling. This is going to hurt, but hopefully in…

Minneapolist DevOpsDays 2017 logo

Why on earth would developers WANT to write documentation?

This week I was at DevOpsDays Minneapolis, which was an amazing, warm, and inclusive event. There were at least three open spaces on documentation, communication, and related problems, and I didn’t propose any of them! The question the devops world keeps asking, over and over again is, How do I get developers to write anything?…

Crosspost from Opensource.com: How Do We Fix the State of Technical Documentation?

Crosspost from Opensource.com: How Do We Fix the State of Technical Documentation?

If we all agree that open source as a whole has a documentation problem, what can we do to work on addressing and fixing it? How Do We Fix the State of Technical Documentation? We have to talk about why people would be motivated to fix the problem before we can get them to do…

BIG CONCEPTS small docs. User documentation is a failure of user interface. Faster and cheaper than making your developer write it. Elegant writing saves money. Paid by the anti-word.

Why are there no documentation bootcamps or schools?

Sarah Mei and Sarah Fox and some other people and I were talking on Twitter about code school graduates, and how they frequently do really well at mid-level positions because they have communication skills from their previous careers. Yeah, that is super interesting. Thanks for linking it. I guess that's why there's no writing boot…

Creative destruction

Creative destruction

I was making a joke about the fact that I accidentally have two profiles for Open Source Bridge – one is with pink hair, and one with brown hair. Obviously, one of them is the mirror universe me. Probably the one with brown hair. No one with pink hair could be sinister, right? I said…

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