In this conversation, we talked about what it’s like to work on Google’s tech writing team and my previous experience at Joyent. I spoke about the importance of multimedia documentation, creating proposals to tear down bad docs, and what it has been like to join the conference circuit.
Just a note, this conversation was one of my own and not on behalf of Google or Alphabet. My thoughts are not those of my employer’s.
This talk was influenced by one I gave while I was an engineer at WNET.
Technically Speaking: Improve Your Code with Documentation
Well written instructions, informative comments throughout code, clearly scripted screencasts, and smart information architecture can take complex code and make it accessible to new developers. In the age of code sharing, this can be imperative to teaching the next generation of developers, passing along your code to successors, and help you better understand your own work.
I recently updated my website to include a speaking page, listing my previous experience and outlining my personal speaking policy. This includes that conferences must have a code of conduct and treat all speakers equally regarding compensation. That doesn’t mean all conferences must provide an equal speaker fee, but it does mean that conferences should not pay or cover the costs of some speakers and not others.
Why does this matter? New / young / minority speakers are often taken advantage of. All speakers, no matter how much experience they have, deserve to be shown the same respect.
I was honored to be invited to speak at KnowledgeConf 2019 in Moscow in April (English marketing site and actual Russian conference site). I was the only English presenter among fantastic Russian talks, and I look forward to being able to watch them with translated captions!
My talk, “Creating compelling multimedia documentation,” covered the importance of considering the different methods of creating documentation, particularly video. While I did not specifically walk through how to make a video, I did cover when and when not to make video, considerations for script and storyboard creation, branding, and usability.
I’m excited to announce I’ll be speaking at the Evolution of Technical Communication conference in Sofia, Bulgaria in June. Not only that, but I’ll also be leading a workshop!
How to assemble a quality writing portfolio
We’ve all spent a long time trying to decide how to craft the perfect cover letter and resume to apply to new positions. Often times we are also expected to present writing samples – if not in the application, at some point in the interview process. These writing samples are the key to showing potential employers that you can concisely explain a process in various mediums.
In October 2017, I decided to apply to Google. It wasn’t the first time I had applied—I applied in 2011 when trying to get a job post-graduation in communications. Back then, I never received a response to my application and expected similar results in 2017.
Although I applied for a product Developer Programs Engineer position in New York, I ended up getting an email from their technical writer recruiter the following week. A year and one day from the day I submitted my application, I signed an offer letter. And 6 weeks after that, I finally went to Noogler (that’s what they call new Googlers) orientation. It was a long road to get here.