February 22nd, 2022
35 mins 9 secs
About this Episode
Document Write · EthicalAds · Sourcegraph
Portia Burton | Eric Holscher
Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Docs! This is our first episode and we’re so happy you’re joining us. On this podcast, we’ll be sharing with you a new concept around documentation and sustainability. We’re going to talk about how you can leverage documentation, how you can leverage content to bring more people, more attention, and more funding to your products. We’ll talk to experts who know how to write content engagingly, interview people who speak about the importance of content having goals, and talk to people who have successfully built projects, used excellent documentation, and used the content as the pillar of their success. Our panelists are Portia Burton, who is the owner of DocumentWrite, and Eric Holscher, who is the Co-Founder of Read the Docs, Write the Docs, EthicalAds, and PyCascades. We are super excited to have as our guest, Megan Sullivan, who is a Developer Educator at Apollo. Megan shares her background and story about studying CS, going into teaching CS courses, and how putting the two together helped her become a more confident professional developer and create a path for others with an educational background. We find out about a manual Megan wrote about herself, what “Being Glue” means, and she shares advice if you’re the person who’s interested in taking this journey similar to what she’s doing in technical writing and education. Go ahead and download this episode now!
[00:01:27] We hear what Megan did before specializing in technical documentation.
[00:06:16] Megan mentioned teaching people to code when she did the AmeriCorps program, and Portia wonders if she were to go back and design a CS program how would she do it that would be engaging.
[00:10:44] Megan shares what inspired her to get into technical writing.
[00:14:51] On Megan’s website, she has a page dedicated to accessibility, and she tells us about the manual she wrote about herself and she mentions Steph Smith’s website.
[00:16:51] Find out what inspired Megan to publish her manual and share it.
[00:18:28] Portia talks about notetaking and “Being Glue,” and asks Megan’s opinion on what she would say about women who want to help out their team but don’t want to be like glue.
[00:23:20] We hear Megan’s thoughts on ways she thinks documentation can be taken more seriously, and how can we get people in college to get excited and build that status in the industry to get people excited.
[00:27:44] Megan shares some advice if you’re interested in following this kind of path of teaching technical stuff, and she tells us about a great book, Docs for Developers.
[00:32:25] We end with some shout-outs and cool things happening that you should check out.
[00:07:40] “There are a lot of different ways that knowing how to code can help you in different industries.”
[00:09:02] “Right when I started that program was around the time the movie The Social Network came out, and I thought if this is what being in tech is like I want no part in that.”
[00:14:21] “I like trying to figure out how to make things look pretty and I’m not good at it, but I like thinking about that and thinking about accessibility is something I’m really interested in.”
[00:23:42] “I think a good way to get people to take documentation seriously is to talk about what’s hard about documentation.”
Personal User Manual-Megan Sullivan
GatsbyCamp Fall-Docs for Everyone-Megan Sullivan (YouTube)
The Secret History of Women in Coding (The New York Times Magazine)
Docs for Developers: An Engineer’s Field Guide to Technical Writing
- Executive Produced by Justin Dorfman
- Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
- Show notes by DeAnn Bahr at Peachtree Sound
- Cover art by Eriol Fox