This previous Monday and Tuesday I attended Write the Docs. If nothing else, it was inspiring enough to get me installing WordPress so I could write this single post. Fortunately, it went far beyond if nothing else for me.
I have attended a handful of conferences in my past, most-memorably were RightNow‘s Summit conferences–before the company was purchased by Oracle. The Summits were fun and hosted at a fancy hotel that I would never have stayed at otherwise. And I suppose I liked them enough that I didn’t notice what was missing until attending Write the Docs years later: my kind of people. My career as a technical writer is in infancy, and I sometimes fret that it was not the best move, but experiencing the community and attitude and passion at Write the Docs was madly affirming. In-fact, not more than an hour or so after I thought to myself, “these are my people,” I found this:
A presentation about good docs practices using music as a guide. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! #writethedocs
— Lauren (@GrandmaHenri) May 6, 2014
I agreed; I felt like I was at home.
I also learned a lot of great stuff. Common among many of the presentations and discussions was the idea that something is better than nothing, even when it’s bad (this is likely to become the tagline for my blog because self-deprecating humor is sort of my thing). This fits in nicely with a saying I learned from an instructor I had at Warner Pacific College, Michael Demkowicz: sometimes it’s not done, it’s just due. Also, Twitter shows that I have solidarity in my struggle with impostor syndrome.
The winner of my personal award in the category of I wish that everyone who ever had to present anything to me for any reason would watch this video is: Christina Elmore — Death by Documentation. Seriously. Go watch it. Now. (Please?)
If you are into this kind of thing, I put together a sort of TOC for my notes from the conference, which is probably far more useful than the notes themselves.
I don’t feel like this post is finished or as good as it can be–I am going to let that happen because that’s what I learned from my people.