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DevOps Docs: Fast, Great Content for the Cloud

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DevOps Docs: Fast, Great Content for the Cloud

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Writing for cloud products? Great! But what does that mean for writers? Companies adopt Agile and specifically DevOps to be fast, and doc teams are expected to follow suit. Based on years of Agile experience, this session covers how doc teams can adapt and thrive in a DevOps world by writing fast, writing well, and showcasing business value. In the end, your companies will see content that drives revenue, lowers costs, and even engages customers.

Writing for cloud products? Great! But what does that mean for writers? Companies adopt Agile and specifically DevOps to be fast, and doc teams are expected to follow suit. Based on years of Agile experience, this session covers how doc teams can adapt and thrive in a DevOps world by writing fast, writing well, and showcasing business value. In the end, your companies will see content that drives revenue, lowers costs, and even engages customers.

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DevOps Docs: Fast, Great Content for the Cloud

  1. 1. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 1#stc16 IBM Cloud DevOps Docs: Fast, Great Content for the Cloud Vanessa Wilburn Senior Content Strategist, IBM
  2. 2. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 2#stc16 Agenda • Introduction to DevOps documentation • Faster publication • Quality when you have little time • Your questions answered • These slides: http://bit.ly/22dYWHL
  3. 3. 3DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Introduction to DevOps documentation
  4. 4. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 4#stc16 How cloud products are different • Constantly changing GUI and features • No version or release numbers • No deadlines or constant deadlines, depending on your perspective • No installation • Available across a network: public cloud, dedicated cloud (increased security), or local cloud (behind a firewall)
  5. 5. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 5#stc16 How DevOps fits in* • Design thinking: sponsor users, hills, stories • Minimum viable product (MVP) • Automated, continuous delivery • Continuous improvement: pivoting, failing fast • Data-driven decisions, hypothesis-driven development • Ranked backlogs • Co-located squads *A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist. Some DevOps practices might work for your team, but others might not. For example, co-located squads aren’t always a viable option. In that case, the key is to form a shared group culture.
  6. 6. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 6#stc16 What cloud docs look like: web-based & interactive • Embedded video, interactive diagrams, code snippets that you can copy easily • Getting started info • Tutorials • Reference docs
  7. 7. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 7#stc16 What cloud docs look like: social
  8. 8. 8DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Faster publication
  9. 9. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 9#stc16 Automation • DevOps toolchain – Automatic doc builds, tests, and deployments – Deployments on internal and external servers • Builds by Jenkins – Library (plugins/folders) built automatically: by our team’s instance and a shared instance – Our own Jenkins, avoiding others’ bursts, outages, and space contention – Multiple staging environments for unique requirements
  10. 10. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 10#stc16 Tooling • Content Management Systems – Dita-aware CMS – GitHub • Development source: markdown readme’s, python files for Swagger docs, error messages, and CLI help • Social docs in markdown • Authoring tools: Oxygen, Atom, PyCharm, text editors • Kanban boards for sprint planning • Ways to track doc issues: Doc impact field or tagging
  11. 11. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 11#stc16 Content strategy interpreted from Spotify • Minimum viable product (MVP) – Think more. Write less. – Progressive disclosure and embedded content – Top use cases for majority of users – Stopped overwhelming users with "nice to know" info • Iterative translation: monthly shipments with build files • Paired writers – Higher quality with two sets of eyes – Coverage during vacations and illnesses • Collaborative authoring with developers – Pull requests on Dev files, such as yaml, json, and python
  12. 12. 12DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Quality when you have little time
  13. 13. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 13#stc16 Tools to catch low-hanging fruit • Grammar, style, spelling • Accessibility tools • Link checkers • Validation with user testing Use these tools regularly to achieve quality by iterative testing. Dashboards roll up on-going operational quality.
  14. 14. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 14#stc16 Grammar, style, spelling • Acrolinx IQ – Checks files of many types – You can use it within Oxygen Editor or standalone – Checks dictionaries, style guidelines, etc. – Batch tools and reports
  15. 15. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 15#stc16 Accessibility • Enable people with different abilities • Comply with government requirements and industry standards • Examine content and address accessibility violations • Tools: Rational Policy Tester (RPT), Digital Content Checker, or Automated Accessibility Tester
  16. 16. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 16#stc16 Link checking • Links break. Links break all the time in the Cloud • Many tools available from the web
  17. 17. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 17#stc16 Low-cost user feedback • Low-fi testing early and often: paper prototypes, sketches, design walk through’s, and partnerships with UX designers • Sources for feedback – Internal users – Forums on Stack Overflow – Meetups – Conferences • Open and closed betas • Traditional feedback button on docs
  18. 18. DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn 18#stc16 Business impact of content: metrics and KPIs • Acquisition and conversion of customers • Self-help and support-call diversion • Engagement and reach
  19. 19. 19DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Acknowledgements Thanks go to my IBM collaborators for their contributions to these slides: • Sue Graham • Laura Hinson © Copyright Vanessa Wilburn
  20. 20. 20DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Check it out • Steve Krug. Don’t Make Me Think, Second Edition • Spotify engineering culture: – https://labs.spotify.com/2014/03/27/spotify-engineering-culture-part-1/ • #STC16: – Elizabeth Fraley. How Do I Pick the Right Tool for Me? – Tanya Ivanova and Barry Grenon. Automate Release Notes for Quick and Accurate Results – Abhishek Jain. Do More with Less and Increase Your ROC
  21. 21. 21DevOps Docs: Vanessa Wilburn#stc16 Your questions answered Vanessa Wilburn • wilburnvanessa@gmail.com • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessawilburn As an Information Architect and Content Strategist for IBM Cloud, I deliver the content experience in the form of user interfaces, web-based information, product manuals, and other self-service information. I design and run usability tests to assess how users experience "content on the glass."​ The design work includes user flows, personas, prototypes, and taxonomies. Moreover, I've performed duties as a Project Lead, Technical Lead, and Technical Editor in support of IBM software.

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