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It is rarely that a documentarian is brought in at the beginning of a company or project. More commonly, we are called in sometime just before or sometimes slightly after a project is released. We need to hit the ground running, maximize our value, and deliver something before the product is rejected for being undocumented. Join me for a discussion of my techniques and stress-tested questions for how to get minimum viable documentation out of a motley collection of gists, outdated specs, and time-crunched developers. See some immediately-applicable techniques for getting good-enough documentation out the door. My specialty as a technical writer is establishing a minimum viable documentation set, establishing tools and procedures, and training in a less battle-hardened writer to take over.
The days of linear documentation are over, or at least numbered. Users are much more likely to come to documentation through searches. As writers, we need to be aware that folksonomies and search terms are the present and future, and we need to write with tags and keywords as our first step. This presentation is a quick overview of how to write technical documentation “”search-first””, with an updated understanding of indexing and keywords.