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Write the Docs Podcast Episode 35: Docs for Developers book, with Jared Bhatti and Zachary Sarah Corleissen

by Tom Johnson on Oct 31, 2021 •
categories: technical-writingapi-docs

In episode 35 of the Write the Docs podcast, we discuss the newly released book Docs for Developers: An Engineer's Field Guide to Technical Writing with Jared Bhatti, staff technical writer at Google, and Zachary Sarah Corleissen, staff technical writer at Stripe (two of the co-authors). This book on writing documentation focuses on the end-to-end writing process (from audience analysis to drafting, editing, publishing, and more) and is written specifically with developers in mind. The authors use the scenario of documenting Corg.ly, an API that translates barks, as a common thread through each of the chapters.

See WTD Episode 35: Docs for Developers book, with Jared Bhatti and Zachary Sarah Corleissen for the original post.

Docs for Developers book details

See https://docsfordevelopers.com for ways to buy the book. You can order it from Apress, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and alibris, in both paperback and ebook formats.

Docs for Developers: An Engineer's Field Guide to Technical Writing, by co-authors Jared Bhatti, Zachary Sarah Corleissen, Jen Lambourne, David Nunez, and Heidi Waterhouse

Podcast topics we cover

Some topics we discuss in this podcast:

  • Why did you feel existing books didn’t feel the gaps and what did you want to add?
  • How is the writing process and approach different for devs versus tech writers?
  • How has working at your various companies influenced your thinking on the writing process?
  • What was your process for creating the book with so many coauthors?
  • What was your most controversial chapter when writing the book?
  • What’s the most valuable thing you learned while writing the book?
  • How can developers overcome the curse of knowledge when they write?
  • Is technical writing easy or hard, and what should the message be to developers?
  • How do you avoid falling prey to the “Draw an owl” syndrome when teaching writing?
  • Are developers hungry to learn to write, or do they despise writing?

About the guest hosts

Here are the bios of Jared and Zach, excerpted directly from the Docs for Developers book:

Jared Bhatti

Jared (he/him) is a Staff Technical Writer at Alphabet, and the co-founder of Google’s Cloud documentation team. He’s worked for the past 14 years documenting an array of projects at Alphabet, including Kubernetes, App Engine, Adsense, Google’s data centers, and Google’s environmental sustainability efforts. He currently leads technical documentation at Waymon and mentors several junior writers in the industry.

Zachary Sarah Corleissen

Zach (he/him, they/them) began this book as the Lead Technical Writer for teh Linux Foundation and ended it as Stripe’s first Staff Technical Writer. Zach served as co-chair for Kubernetes documentation from 2017 until 2021, and has worked on developer docs previously at GitHub, Rackspace, and several startups. They enjoy speaking at converences and love to mentor writers and speakers of all abilities and backgrounds.

You can find them both on the Write the Docs Slack channel (search for @jaredb and @zcorleissen) if you want to ask them questions.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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