Episode 4

Swapnil Ogale


February 27th, 2022

36 mins 16 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sponsored by
Document Write · EthicalAds · Sourcegraph


Portia Burton | Eric Holscher


Swapnil Ogale

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. Our special guest today is Swapnil Ogale, who has over 16 years of technical documentation experience across a range of industries in Australia and globally. Currently, he works as Redocly’s Technical Writer Advocate, pursuing his passion for writing, along with advocating for the docs-as-code approach for product content. He initiated the Write the Docs community in Australia in 2016 and has been organizing local meetups and annual national conferences. Today, Swapnil shares his journey of getting into technical writing and goes in-depth about what technical writers do and how they spend their time. We also learn more about his passion for speaking at conferences about documentation, what motivated him to start the Write the Docs community in Australia, and how the Google Season of Docs is a fantastic way to give back to the community and pick up so much valuable experience. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!

[00:00:56] Swapnil shares his story of how he got into technical writing.

[00:03:00] Swapnil received a technical communication certificate and he tells us the important thing he learned from that program that he uses today.

[00:07:03] We learn what kind of value Swapnil gained from speaking at conferences and what the benefit is.

[00:10:26] Portia brings up how Swapnil advocates for himself and he explains the importance of this.

[00:12:27] Portia asks Swapnil to talk about what developers should know about technical writers, what technical writers do, and how they spend their time.

[00:15:16] Swapnil speaks at conferences about documentation, and he explains some of the reactions he gets after he gives these presentations.

[00:20:46] We find out what motivated Swapnil to start the Write the Docs Australia community, and he shares how other people can get involved in doing this kind of community building in their own community.

[00:24:02] Swapnil explains what the global perspective is.

[00:28:03] We learn how the Google Season of Docs works and how a writer knows that they’re ready to contribute to open source projects.

[00:33:23] We end up finding out where you can follow Swapnil online, he tells us he’s Co-authoring a second edition of the book, _Technical Writing Process, and he’s currently learning Australian Sign Language.


[00:14:29] “Writing is only 30% of my day and it’s the other things around it that actually adds value to that documentation.”

[00:16:36] “So that’s that notion of ‘we didn’t know you could do that is what I’m trying to debunk.”

[00:32:26] “Google Season of Docs is coming and they’re starting applications. You’ll never find a better way to get more experience if you’ve never done documentation before and worked on a global team.”



SustainOSS Twitter

SustainOSS Discourse

Portia Burton Twitter

Eric Holscher Twitter

Swapnil Ogale Twitter

Swapnil Ogale LinkedIn


Technical Writing Process

Google Open Source Blog: Announcing Season of Docs 2022

Auslan (Australian Sign Language)