Write the Docs Australia turns three on 20th July 2019!
Looking back at my post from 2018, Write the Docs Australia – 2 years and counting, we have had quite a thrilling ride (and guess what, it ain’t over yet). In fact, going by the growing trend of people getting involved in documentation and a broader understanding of this skill, this community can only go upwards from here. The community continues to provide friendships, knowledge sharing and opportunities to a very diverse group of people who care about and are passionate about documentation.
Challenges and Opportunities
Starting off with a few people across this land, the community has blossomed out to hundreds of members who have attended, volunteered or presented at, and continue to support our events. While managing events around the physical location of members is a challenge, we have had a few remote events that have helped documentarians participate and share their stories.
One of the better opportunities that have come about is engagement with other similar groups to collaborate on popular topics and sharing presenters for joint events. Write the Docs Australia and Write the Docs India organised a joint meetup around open-source documentation in May 2019 and it was well attended and received. Thanks to Rajakavitha Kodhandapani, Sarah Maddox, Damini Satya and Jared Morgan for making this happen.
Documentation is critical to any role, product, system, process and this community provides a good environment to nurture this passion and add to your skills and professional networks. One of the most common feedback from our events is how this community provides a safe space for us to demonstrate our knowledge, showcase our skills and share this with a diverse group.
Personally, I continue to learn a lot about building and growing a community, connecting with potential speakers and convincing them to speak, promoting the community, and organising the logistics and liaising with volunteers for various events and the conference. Speaking at these events has given me a lot of confidence in public speaking which has, in turn, helped me present at other technical writing conferences.
The Write the Docs Australia meetup membership now stands at over 648 and while not all of them are regular attendees, we’ve certainly established a steady pace of attendees and volunteers for our events. What I found was the varied nature of our talks that has encouraged a range of people to attend, depending on the presentation topic, which has always brought about different perspectives, ideas, and questions.
The Australian WTD slack community has crossed 160 members (was 97 same time last year).
In the same time range, the Write the Docs Slack community now stands at 6788 (was 4186 same time last year).
Write the Docs Australia events
In the last 2 months, we organised 14 events across Australia:
- 4 in Brisbane
- 3 in Melbourne
- 3 in Sydney
- 2 remote sessions
- A joint webinar around Open Source Docs (Write the Docs India and Write the Docs Australia), and
- The first full day Australian conference
A big thank you to all the speakers who volunteered and readily presented and participated in our events.
Docs or it didn’t happen
We covered Product Management, Writing hints and tips, Content Strategy, SMEs, Screenshots, Release Notes, Content Mathematics, UX Writing, Writing for Blockchain, Open Source Communities, Dev API Portals, Dev Documentation, Career Progression and more.
Remote presentations and webinars were popular from a pure attendee viewpoint, and many people willing to share their knowledge in that manner.
We had 2 remote sessions: a lunchtime session on teaching engineers about content strategy presented by Stephanie Blotner (Uber) and another Australia-wide one featuring 4 lightning talks and 2 presentations on GitLab by Evan Read and tech writing and metrics by Matt Reiner.
Thanks to ongoing support from companies like Atlassian, General Assembly, Credit Sense, and Google who hosted our events and sponsored food/drinks generously.
We streamed most events live and almost all presentation recordings are freely available on the Write the Docs Australia Youtube channel.
All of these events have been undertaken by volunteers on their own time and in addition to their busy schedules, so a huge shoutout to everyone involved in keeping the community going.
Write the Docs Australia conference 2018
We held our first full 2-day conference in Melbourne on 15th and 16th November at Library at the Docks. Here’s a quick recap of the event. Thanks to Darren Chan for the brilliant photos and videos of the event.
What’s coming up in 2019?
Our 2-day Write the Docs Australia conference takes place in Sydney on 14 and 15 November and we hope to make it a regular feature on the Australian tech/ documentation as well as the Write the Docs conferences calendar.
More information on the conference: https://www.writethedocs.org/conf/australia/2019/
CFPs are currently open until midnight, 9th Aug.
Before the conference, we will have another round of meetup events across Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney (27 Sept). There is a possibility of another remote WTD event (to be announced).
We are also looking at collaborating with Write the Docs India and Write the Docs Seoul for joint webinar style events.