The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Michelle Irvine

Michelle Irvine is a Senior Technical Writer at Google Cloud. With the DORA project, she leads research into the impact and production of technical documentation.

Before Google, Michelle worked in educational publishing and as a Technical Writer for physics simulation software. Michelle has a BSc in Physics, and a MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design from the University of Waterloo.

Shining a Light on Internal Documentation’s Extensive Impact

Documentation is a fundamental part of software development. With Google’s DevOps Research and Assessment program (DORA research program, we shine a light on internal documentation’s extensive impact.
In our most recent survey, we found that teams with high-quality documentation report 25% higher team performance relative to teams with low quality documentation. And we see an interaction similar to sunshine: Just like a plant needs water and sunshine to thrive, an organization with good technical practices and good internal documentation is significantly more likely to meet or exceed their performance goals.
My talk shares how we at Google and DORA measure documentation quality, some of our surprising (and not so surprising) findings throughout our decade of research, and how this research supports our role as writers and content professionals in the industry

In this session, attendees will learn how to:

  • Why DORA was founded and who we are
  • DORA’s research methodology
  • Surprising findings from research (Docs are like sunshine)
  • Ways research has been applied at Google and other organizations
  • How our research can improve your work and help your advocate for more resources