SOS 008: Writing Good Documentation with Chris Ward

00:00 53:05
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Episode Summary

This week, Sustain Our Software welcomes Chris Ward, Technical Writer at Ethereum from Berlin, Germany. Chris shares his story of how he became a technical writer as well tips and resources for good documentation writing.

After many years working as a developer, Chris realized he enjoyed helping others understand technical subjects. Chris defines a path of how to become a technical writer. He advises contributing to Open Source projects as well as joining the Write the Docs Society.

Chris and Richard discuss why having good documentation is important and what the minimum viable documentation for a project is. Often times the assumptions that developers make are not very obvious to other developers on the project and the users.

Then then discuss the common challenges a technical writer faces when creating documentation targeting developers, contributors and Getting Started Guide. A good technical documentation develops over time and like code it's never really done and newer versions are rolled out as questions come in.

Chris recommends some tools for technical writing as well as a book by Stephen King called On Writing. He also recommends dogfooding or hackathons to help the developers work on usability issues.

Then they talk about how the Bounties model can also be applied to documentation writing.

Panel

  • Richard Littauer

Joined By Special Guest: Chris Ward

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