What do you write?

Most of my experience is based around software documentation. Whilst there are several levels to this, from task oriented User Guides through to highly technical API/SDK documentation, they tend to follow similar patterns making it easy for me to take my experience and apply it to new challenges. I’ve also been involved in writing up procedures and guidelines as part of an ISO quality system, a little whitepaper style writing, and even the odd product brochure. All of which require a slightly different approach but the same grounding in the basics of understanding the audience. However I’m aware that there are many other forms of technical writing, and I’m curious to find out what everyone else does? Do you write …

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Trickle and Blink

“There is no such thing as too much information” We’ve all heard this statement at one time or another, and in the internet age it’s accepted as a statement of truth. Which is shame as it’s completely wrong. Turns out, that you only need enough information, not all of it. A while ago I wrote up some thoughts on how to integrate an authoring team into an Extreme Programming (Agile) development group. The post Trickle vs Traditional outlined a basic way of building up the required content throughout the various stages of an XP release and, to save you re-reading that post, let me grab the crux of what I was saying: The trickle method relies on the ability of …

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Write the docs first

I’m currently pondering a proposal, suggesting to our Dev team that we write the user documentation first, and then use that as the basis of what the product should deliver. This wouldn’t work for everyone but given that an XP environment encourages little (well, less) documentation than a more traditional ISO style project, then having a draft of the user documentation would be beneficial in many ways: Early design thoughts are often lost as they are translated into the stories used to develop the functionality. Fleshing these out into more fully formed documentation would better capture that information, and focus it on the user. Earlier consideration of the “what ifs” will likely come of this, pushing thoughts and discussions out …

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