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Jun 9, 2015
Counterpoint: Don't Write The Docs
New Relic

The WTD NA conference is coming in May, so it's a good time to start planning for post-conference Meetups. We'll meet again on Tuesday June 9, when Diana Potter, the Senior Director of Customer Success at tells us when to say: "Don't Write The Docs".

When I started working as a Technical Writer, our local VP told me that to do my job well, I'd spend significant time testing and pushing for changes to our software. To me, that sounds like the essence of Diana's talk.

Diana manages's support/docs team. As such, I expect that her talk will interest Documentarians, Support Engineers, and Knowledge Base Creators. Here is the abstract of her talk:

Writing user facing documentation gives you a unique perspective on software. How does something work? Will the software explode when I push this button? Okay, now how do you explain that explosion to a user, in a way that makes sense and captures their attention?

What do you do, though, when that unique perspective illustrates areas of confusion? Why document something that's confusing? Fix the confusion!

Write the docs that make sense for the user and advocate for product changes on behalf of the "user" too.

How do you decide when it makes sense to document, and when it makes sense to dig in your heels and push for an internal change to the product? How can you use documentation to push for change? Come learn what I've learned, the processes I've put in place, and learn the following chant: "does this doc make sense?"

Jun 12, 2018
Write the Docs Portland Monthly Meetup
Jama Software, 135 SW Taylor, Suite 200, Portland, OR

Join us to play a fun game that answers relevant writing questions with the hive mind, share highlights from the recent Write the Docs Portland 2018 conference, and enjoy light refreshments in a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.

Meetup information:

Oct 16, 2018
Write the Docs PDX October Joint Meetup (with Portland State University Technical Communication and PDX Support Driven): A Day in the Life of...
PSU Smith Memorial Student Union (Meeting room 333)

Write the Docs Portland meetup, Portland State University's Technical Communication group, and PDX Support Driven meetup are combining forces for a very fascinating look into the lives of documentarians, Technical Writing students, and support professionals.

We'll have two members from each group share with attendees what their work day is like. After the "Day in the Life of..." stories, we have an opportunity to ask presenters questions and form breakout groups where attendees can converse with others based on common topics of interest.

Join us on Tuesday, October 16th, from 6 to 8 pm. Location: Smith Memorial Student Union building, meeting space room 333 (building map here:

Jan 8, 2019
Write The Docs PDX January Meetup: Conference Submission Workshop
Jama Software

Our January meetup (1/8/19, 6-8 pm at Jama Software) is an opportunity for members to share potential ideas for the Write the Docs Portland 2019 (May 19-21). Participants are encouraged to give short (~5 minutes) dry runs of potential presentations to gauge interest and collect feedback. Do you have a burning idea that you want to present at the conference? Here is your chance to share them. We'll also brainstorm topics that attendees would "love to see at the conference that they wish someone would offer."

If you have a talk in mind, please RSVP and let the organizers (Mo, Kristen McKee, and Mike Jang) know in advance. We would love to have several speakers share their proposals.

With Call for Proposals for the Write the Docs Portland 2019 conference quickly approaching (midnight, January 17th), this is a great opportunity to practice your talk and receive feedback. For what it's worth, several past participants of the Conference Submission Workshop were selected to present at Write the Docs.

We look forward to seeing you and hearing your ideas on January 8th!