At Salesforce.com, we now have a team called, “Core Documentation.” We are focused on documenting our internal systems and architecture. Many of us on the team don’t create content: We generate framework, best practices, and training for engineer-created content. (Content can include and is not limited to: code comments, run lists, specs, team web pages, wikis, white papers, architectural diagrams, presentations, etc.)
But that goes back to the first question–how do you get someone to write, when the word “writer” isn’t part of their title?
We’ve been successful using several different venues:
- Documentation “hack” day – where engineers spend a day improving their internal doc
- Events where posters of different aspects of the architecture are displayed (think art walk, only for engineers)
- VERY easy to use templates for readme files, etc.
- Lunch meetings/presentations/training/networking
- Flattery, appeals to logic (bus factor) and bribes
Attend this session and learn what has and hasn’t worked for us in terms of encouraging engineers to generate content.
Leah Cutter’s title is Technology Knowledge Management Specialist – what a mouthful! What it means: She works with engineers to create framework, best practices, and training, for engineer-generated content. She is focused on internal documentation, stuff that customers never see.
She’s been doing technical writing for 20+ years, and has degrees in both English Literature and Computer Science.
She also writes fiction, has several novels published, and has short fiction that has been published in anthologies and magazines.