STC Summit day 1 – Building a developer documentation wiki

I’m attending STC 2012, the annual conference of the Society for Technical Communication. It’s lunch time on Monday, and I’ve just finished presenting my session, called “Building a developer documentation wiki, or, what developers want”.

The audience at my session was absolutely great. People laughed, joined in, and asked plenty of excellent questions. I was quite nervous to start with, but settled into it because it was such a great crowd.

What’s in the presentation

It’s about a recent project to design and build a new wiki site for our API documentation, tutorials, and toolkits. The audience of the new wiki consists of developers, both within the company and in the wider community, who are building plugins and add-ons for our software applications.

This is the story of a collection of developer documentation that went looking for a new home. It was not a big move. Just down the road, from one wiki to another. But a lot happened along the way.

The wiki development team learned a number of lessons, had a lot of fun, and emerged with a shiny new communication tool.

I was lucky enough to be one of the team, working on the wiki, writing and curating the documentation, and in charge of the migration process.

The presentation covers these topics:

  • What developers want, and how we found out what they want.
  • “Before” and “after” shots of our developer documentation sites.
  • The migration from wiki 1 to wiki 2 – a story in itself, complete with goodies, baddies, and a superhero or two.
  • An iterative design and development process.
  • What can be done by customising and extending a wiki.
  •  Wiki and community – what works and what doesn’t.

Viewing and downloading the slides and notes

The presentation slides are available on SlideShare: Building a developer documentation wiki. To see the speaker’s notes, click the tab labelled “Notes on slide n” under each slide (next to the comments tab).

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 22 May 2012, in STC, technical writing, wiki and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Any chance the audio or video from this presentation is available?

    • Hallo Matthew

      Serendipity! I’ve just received a notification that the presentations from STC Summit 2012 are now available on the STC’s Summit@aClick site:

      To view a presentation, you need to create an account, then pay the fee to get access to all the presentations: $149 for members of the STC, and $299 for non members. And it’s free for people who attended the conference.

      I’ve had a look, and my presentation is there along with all the others. The recording shows the slides plus an audio of me speaking.


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