My takeaways from WriteTheDocs Prague 2022

I’ve spent the last 3 days once again with my “documentarian” hat on and attended this year’s edition of the WriteTheDocs Prague conference.

The name is a bit misleading since, sadly, the venue wasn’t anywhere near the Czech capital city but online, hosted on the Hopin platform. This also means that pictures of a beautiful city will not be part of this post. Sorry about that πŸ˜” With the 10th anniversary of WTD Prague/EU approaching, though, perhaps there will finally be another in-person conference on the schedule for next year!

OK, now back to this year’s event! There were once again 10 talks spread across two days and one day reserved for community projects, called the “Writing day”.

While I usually spent the Writing Day trying to contribute to WTD’s website, this time I participated in some workshops about “The Good Docs” project which aims to provide documentation templates and guides to open source projects. Thanks, Alyssa Rock and Carrie Crowe!

As for the following two days of talks, here are a couple of takeaways as I’ve simply given up trying to summarise each talk and other’s are far better at that than myself:

  • If your competition has better documentation or at least a better experience around it then you will lose users to them. So always look how the competition is doing! I’ve also never heard of the self-service score before! (Thanks, Karissa Van Baulen)
  • Technical writing and marketing can learn from each other. There is nothing in their respective principles that would make these two mutually exclusive. On a high level, their goals are the same! (Thanks, Mano Toth!)
  • Vale looks like an awesome tool for linting documentation thanks to being very adaptable but also already coming with presets for various style-guides. (Thanks, Tibs!)
  • Try to build a lasting relationship with your readers and treat them as proper stakeholders. (Thanks, Taylor Cole!)
  • Make allowances for other styles of work. What works for you does not necessarily need to work for others and vice versa. (Thanks, Tyler Smith!)
  • I should really give Markdoc a try despite it being tied quite heavily to the React eco-system… (Thanks, Ryan Paul!)

Once again, big thanks to all the speakers and organisers and I really hope that we’ll be able to see each other in person again next year!