In companies that have large engineering teams, a dedicated technical documentation organization is a necessary function. Our industry's understanding of the role of documentation, both as engineers and technical writers, has shifted its focus over the last decade.
- Troy Howard, Contemporary TechDocs
Yeah, I just quoted myself. That's the least of my worries. My bigger concern is the incredible pile of work awaiting me every time I open my laptop. I long for the day when I finally get approval from upper management for the headcount to hire another documentarian. We could do so much more with just one or two more people.
My boss sometimes asks* me, "I'm not sure if we can get headcount, but it would help if you could tell me exactly what you'd do with more people."
* note to my pedantic readers, I realize that was a statement, not a question, but this is Manager Speak™, not normal English.
I suspect that many of my peers in the tech-comm world are in a similar situation. This series of articles intends to answer that once and for all. First, I'll describe the strategy that enables this kind of scaling, and then give some suggestions on how to grow a TechDocs team from your first documentarian to your hundredth. Finally, I'll discuss some deeper aspects of our experience trying to implement this at Twitter.