Why Work with a Tech Writer?

Friday, 1 September, 2017 - 09:0009:30

Betsy Beyer, Google


The sparsely-attended SREcon17 Americas Tech Writing talk focused on HOW to work with Tech Writers. I'm instead focusing on WHY you should work with a TW--because they make your life easier, and can make the work you're already doing have more impact.

Reasons to engage a TW:

  • If you need to explain your product/service/etc. to users: Chances are, the most satisfying, enjoyable, and rewarding part of your job is engineering work—creating a tool, fixing a problem, redesigning infrastructure, etc. It *isn't* answering the same questions from users over and over. → Get solid documentation in place to free up engineer time.
  • If your team internal documentation is a mess: It might be hard to find the docs you need when you get paged, hard to identify current content, or some information might just be flat-out missing. → A TW can help you whip a documentation rat's nest into shape, and give you the tools to maintain your docs easily moving forward.
  • If you want to make your work more visible (so other people can leverage it and learn from it): → A TW can help you get that information out there!

Betsy (Adrienne) Beyer, Google

Betsy Beyer is a Technical Writer for Google Site Reliability Engineering in NYC. She has previously written documentation for Google Datacenters and Hardware Operations teams. Before moving to New York, Betsy was a lecturer on technical writing at Stanford University. She holds degrees from Stanford and Tulane.

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@conference {205456,
author = {Betsy (Adrienne) Beyer},
title = {Why Work with a Tech Writer?},
year = {2017},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

Presentation Video 

Presentation Audio