I’ve just come home from beautiful Prague, where Write the docs conference took place on 31 August – 1 September.
Mikey Ariel invited me to be a volunteer and help out. And though I’m not a technical writer, I saw it as an opportunity to get into the hang of things (conference-wise), travel a bit and meet a lot of talented and inspiring people from around the world. Here they are, btw 😉
Being a volunteer, I didn’t get to see all the talks. That’s not really a problem: they were recorded on video and hopefully will soon be available. But I did get to see all the people, as I helped with registration and organizational moments. Also this being a writers’ conference, many attendees were taking notes. And quite surprisingly among the talks I did actually attend, some happened to be interesting even for me. Here’s me helping out:
Writing documentation is not only about writing, but actually a lot about layout, accessibility, UX and UI, too. So I actually enjoyed listening to Beth Aitman, for example (here are here slides). Among the most memorable were Elijah Caine with his talk about writing emails, which I really really hope more people could listen to, and Christina Elmore talking about creative problem solving. One of my personal favorites was a lightning talk by Marcin Warpechowski about laptop stickers! TL;DR – stickers are a great way to engage employees and the community! Got me (and actually everybody) excited about stickers even more and willing to create some. GitHub’s octocat also contributed to my feelings about stickers. They actually produce a special version for all conferences they attend! Also I think it was ladies from GitHub taking most the notes (or maybe I just happened to seat behind them 😉 ).
As a girl working at Red Hat I got really excited to see how many women actually work as technical writers and that possibly half (if not more) of the attendees and speakers were beautiful ladies! This conference is really special in that way, as I’ve been told, that usually IT conferences get a majority of male attendees. I really truly wish it will change.
Frankly, although documentation is not really my cup of tea, I still enjoyed my time there, especially the feeling of community and inspiration coming not only from speakers, but everybody being passionate about what they do. It was an amazing experience and hopefully in the future I will be able to attend more conferences, some being about what I do and am passionate about. Like this one, hopefully?) And I’ve already signed up as a volunteer for DevConf 2016.
PS We had a contest of badge bling-blings and here’s my submission (didn’t win, no problem!)
PPS Some of the photos were taken by Jiri Folta.