Episode 3

Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti


February 27th, 2022

35 mins 16 secs

Season 1

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Special Guest

About this Episode

Sponsored by
Document Write · EthicalAds · Sourcegraph


Portia Burton | Eric Holscher


Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Docs, the show where we talk about documentation, open source, tech, and the intersection of the three. Today, our special guest is Fabrizio Benedetti, who’s a Senior Staff Technical Writer at Splunk, and previously was a technical journalist and studied psychology. Fabrizio takes us through his journey of technical writing and shares some helpful tips if becoming a technical writer interests you. We also find out more about Fabrizio’s “Columbo Technique for Technical Writers,” he explains docs-as-code, and we learn about the children’s story he’s doing on OpenTelemetry. Go ahead and download this episode not to find out more!

[00:00:43] Fabrizio tells us how he got into technical writing and the path that led him to where he’s at in his career.

[00:06:55] We learn more about the Columbo Technique for technical writers.

[00:09:24] Portia wonders if junior technical writers struggle with talking to the engineer, and Fabry tells us some cliché questions that newer technical writers might ask.

[00:12:14] Fabrizio explains docs-as-code.

[00:17:28] We find out some skills Fabrizio picked up as a tech journalist that he still uses today.

[00:20:54] Fabrizio shares some advice if you’re interested in becoming a technical writer.

[00:25:46] We hear Fabrizio explain about improving the tool chain.

[00:31:31] Fabrizio talks about working on a children’s story on OpenTelemetry.

[00:34:40] Find out where you can follow Fabrizio online.


[00:03:57] “With the transition to tech writing, there’s something about precision in scientific language.”

[00:07:29] “I was trying to think of something that could capture the essence of what I do on a daily basis and this image of the detective came to my mind, and I immediately thought of Columbo.”

[00:13:59] “You can do docs-as-code with pretty much any markup language.”

[00:19:57] “It’s really hard to document something that doesn’t make sense.”

[00:21:14] “Some general tips I would say is to start building your own website which could also contain your own portfolio.”

[00:26:04] “If I saw the resume of a technical writer wannabe, former Python developer that created a small script to convert tables between formats flawlessly, I would hire that guy.”



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Columbo Technique