TechDocs at Twitter: Creating the Culture of Documentation


Twitter Engineering has grown quickly, to well over a thousand engineers in the space of a few years. In the process, scores of teams have developed hundreds of individual services and libraries. During this time, these teams have been supported by at most three full­time tech writers.

This is a story of how we work towards creating the culture of documentation. To implement this culture, we needed to introduce new tools that are seamless for the developer workflow and to bring the teams along with education and training. In this talk, you will learn what worked and what didn’t for Twitter engineering documentation.

Twitter is a large organization with many projects, a variety of languages, and wildly varying standards for documentation. This talk shares the experiences of our newly formed university engineering education division.

  • Building and distributing documentation tools for a large in-house technical audience
  • Evangelizing for broader developer participation in documentation
  • Using rewards, policies, metrics, and public shame to drive documentation quality