Vilnius 2019 notes: Documenting a new field
Write the Docs Vilnius 2019 saw some excellent talks. Somewhat belatedly, I'm writing up my notes. Here's the second.
Speaker: Chris Ward
Agency - Podcasts and blog
New field - new ecosystem
There are challenges and opportunities when documenting a new field. Chris spoke from his experience producing documentation for blockchain products, particularly Ethereum.
- Communicating complex tech
- Breaking through hype, scepticism and disinformation
- Uncertainty: will the project and the tech endure?
- "Graveyards of GitHub" - constant change, endless new projects, subsequently abandoned. Makes it hard for people to know what to learn.
When choosing a new tech to learn, or a new project to work on, consider:
- What is relevant to you?
- What is relevant to your audience/user base?
- Will the new and shiny enduire and deliver?
- Is the product support by one person, or a team? How active is the community?
Documentation in the middle
Tech writers interact with many groups, including dev, marketing, support, and even the end user. This puts you in a good position to balance inputs and facilitate teamwork and communication. Become a user advocate.