Posts

Search-First Documentation: Tags and Keywords for Frustrated Users (Write the Docs, 2013)

Search-First Documentation: Tags and Keywords for Frustrated Users (Write the Docs, 2013)

If people can’t use your software, you have already failed as a developer. This talk digs in to how optimizing for search and using the existing technical assistance forums can put your product ahead of the pack. Technical writing, in all its variations, is a type of interface with your product. It incorporates everything from…

Success Is More Than Not-Failing (Write the Docs, 2015)

Success Is More Than Not-Failing (Write the Docs, 2015)

We talk a lot about minimum viable products, and building our products up from small features. We talk a lot about failure, and how to learn from it and not replicate failures over and over again. But what I haven’t heard a lot of discussion about is how we know we’ve succeeded. Is it market…

Cassandra at the Keyboard: Whistleblowing at All Scales (Open Source Bridge, 2015)

Cassandra at the Keyboard: Whistleblowing at All Scales (Open Source Bridge, 2015)

Cassandra was a prophetess doomed to be accurate, but never believed. In my role as a technical writer, I often have the information needed to make useful observations about development processes, communication problems, and other organizational troubles. The problem is getting people in power to agree with and act on the information I present. This…

Digital Sandwich Generation: Women’s Roles In Identity Management For Others (Alterconf Chicago, 2015)

Digital Sandwich Generation: Women’s Roles In Identity Management For Others (Alterconf Chicago, 2015)

I don’t know of any parenting books that tell you how to choose baby’s first handle. I don’t know of any self-help books that tell you how to help your parents create a digital estate plan. Both of these scenarios and many more are falling to the people who have always been responsible for maintaining…

How to Teach Your Kids Infosec

How to Teach Your Kids Infosec

I have an article published at Recompiler Magazine! How to Teach Your Kids about InfoSec It’s a summary of best practices for keeping your kids actually safe, instead of sheltered, as they venture online. For a counterpoint, you can come to Alterconf Minneapolis to hear my kid speak on a similar topic on April 9.  …

The Death of Data (Surge 2016)

The Death of Data (Surge 2016)

Search-First Writing for Developers (Pycon AU, 2016)

Search-First Writing for Developers (Pycon AU, 2016)

The Seven Righteous Fights (The Lead Developer, 2016)

The Seven Righteous Fights (The Lead Developer, 2016)

The Seven Righteous Fights (SpringOne Platform, 2016) (long version)

The Seven Righteous Fights (SpringOne Platform, 2016) (long version)

A chapel constructed entirely of twisted vines and saplings.

What is a documentation architect?

When I was at Write the Docs 2015, several people asked me about the title I have in my LinkedIn heading: Documentation Architect. What did I mean by that? How is it different than content management or development architecture? What a documentation architect isn’t A documentation architect isn’t psychic. They can’t figure out your business…

Upcoming appearances

Velocity Berlin
Minneapolis DevOps Meetup
DeliveryConf