Working with an engineering team

Earlier this week I spoke at a Write the Docs meetup in San Francisco. The topic was “Working with Engineers”. Kael Oisinson, a support engineer at Atlassian, gave a talk too. It was great meeting him and all the Write the Docs SF folks.

This was my first ever Write the Docs meetup. What a warm, enthusiastic group of people! There were 50 to 60 attendees (see the meetup description and attendee list). Most were technical writers, with a scattering of software engineers and support engineers.

Kael Oisinson, a support engineer at Atlassian, gave an engaging speech about the life of a support engineer who discovers the value of creating documentation as a way of scaling access to information. It was really good to hear a point of view that’s related to, but not exactly the same as, a technical writer’s. We should do that more often.

My presentation is available on SlideShare: Working with an Engineering Team. Here’s an outline of what we discussed:

  • Sit with the team
  • Grok teamwork and audience
  • Play with the team
  • Adopt the team’s methodologies
  • Get to know the tools
  • Gather and share information

The group was lively and fun, with plenty of interaction and questions. Thanks to Tom Johnson, Laura Stewart, and the Write the Docs SF organisers, for a great evening.

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 23 January 2016, in technical writing, Write the Docs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Shouldn’t Grok teamwork and audience be Grow teamwork and audience.

    • Hallo Sanket,
      I like “grok”. It means to completely understand something, to the point of that thing becoming part of you. Robert A Heinlein coined the word in a novel in the 60s.

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