Listen to the recording:
Here’s a description of the agile panel event:
How can technical writers can thrive in agile environments?
Most engineers in IT departments follow an agile scrum process: they track issues in sprints, assign and scope story points, meet daily to provide short updates on their work, and release updates every 2-3 weeks.
Technical writers who work with engineers usually find that being productive requires them to become familiar with the engineer’s agile scrum workflow. Whether you want to keep abreast of engineering work, factor in time for doc reviews during the sprint, or have documentation be managed like other IT work, you need to know how to integrate or work with the agile scrum workflow.
In this chapter meeting, we will have a panel discussion about how technical writers can thrive in agile environments. (See the STC SV event post for more details.)
The following 5 people were panelists:
Bonnie Clark has almost 20 years of experience in the technical communication field. She is currently a Director of Technical Publications at FICO, a leading analytics software company.
Rosemary Picado is the Documentation Team Lead at Sumo Logic, and works with agile and non-agile teams within the company to document their cloud-based log management platform. Formerly at Recommind, she transitioned from Tech Writer to Scrum Master while the platform was being re-architected, learning the value of Agile first hand, and how the skill sets intersect and complement each other.
Daniel Doornbos has been a technical communicator since 1982. He most recently worked as a Senior Technical Writer at HEAT Software on its IT Service Management product. The company is in the process of transitioning to agile development.
Jane Wilson leads the technical writing team for GE Digital’s Applications Engineering group. GE Digital develops in an Agile environment, and, as the team has grown, she has developed processes for fitting writers and the writing process into Agile methodologies. Along the way, she became a certified scrum master. Jane belongs to the East Bay and Atlanta chapters, and she currently serves on the STC Board as Treasurer.
Gina Blednyh is a Staff Technical Writer at Salesforce. She’s worked in an Agile environment for almost six years. She’s also been a scrum master for both a writing team and an engineering team and is an Agile convert.
I moderated the panel.
Here are some of the questions about agile and tech comm that we discussed:
If you want to share your experiences with agile, you can do so in the comments on this post.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.