Counterpoint: When You Should Not Write The Docs

Write The Docs PDX
Write The Docs PDX
Public group

New Relic

111 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 2800 · Portland, OR

How to find us

Go to the 29th floor and look for the Milliways meeting area

Location image of event venue


The WTD NA conference is coming in May, so it's a good time to start planning for post-conference Meetups. We'll meet again on Tuesday June 9, when Diana Potter, the Senior Director of Customer Success at tells us when to say: "Don't Write The Docs".

When I started working as a Technical Writer, our local VP told me that to do my job well, I'd spend significant time testing and pushing for changes to our software. To me, that sounds like the essence of Diana's talk.

Diana manages's support/docs team. As such, I expect that her talk will interest Documentarians, Support Engineers, and Knowledge Base Creators. Here is the abstract of her talk:


Writing user facing documentation gives you a unique perspective on software. How does something work? Will the software explode when I push this button? Okay, now how do you explain that explosion to a user, in a way that makes sense and captures their attention?

What do you do, though, when that unique perspective illustrates areas of confusion? Why document something that's confusing? Fix the confusion!

Write the docs that make sense for the *user* and advocate for product changes on behalf of the "user" too.

How do you decide when it makes sense to document, and when it makes sense to dig in your heels and push for an internal change to the product? How can you use documentation to push for change? Come learn what I've learned, the processes I've put in place, and learn the following chant: "does this doc make sense?"


I'll appreciate help cleaning up at the end of the Meetup :)


Approximate agenda:

6:00 - 6:30 pm: Networking

6:30 - 6:35: Mike Jang makes some announcements

6:35 - 6:40: Lisa Wess of New Relic talks about New Relic, and their Tech Writer opening.

6:40: Mike takes a minute to introduce Diana Potter

6:40 - 7:15: Diana talks about "When You Should Not Write The Docs"

After: Questions, additional networking

You will be able to view this talk remotely from: