Last week I had a great time in Budapest attending the first ever Write The Docs conference in Europe.
After purchasing my ticket I was still a bit hesitant to attend the event, because I thought the main focus would be on developer documentation. Not being an experienced developer myself, I wondered if all we would do is discuss a 100 different ways to generate API documentation. That little bit of irrational fear quickly dissipated after Kelly O’Brien kicked off with her excellent talk on engaging your audience.
Quality talks + Great organisation and venue = A most excellent conference!
It doesn’t happen often at conferences, but every single talk (even the ones more targeted at developers) were engaging, inspiring and of high quality. I learned something new from every single speaker. Also the organisation and venue were both great. This is definitely one of the best tech-comm conferences I’ve ever been to. I will be there next year, and you should too!
Although I think every talk was great, I do have a couple of favourites (in random order):
- Kelly O’Brien – Engage or Die…
- Tom Christie – Designing MkDocs
- David Hooker – What I have taught developers about writing
- Swizec Teller – What I learned writing a lousy tech book
- Idan Gazit – Advanced Web Typography
There were also some awesome five minute lightning talks. Especially Beth Aitman’s call to action to start writing “Error Messages that don’t suck so much” and “Sketching in Five Minutes” by Idan Gazit were most excellent.
Sounded like fun, you have some pictures?
I think this conference is a breath of fresh air compared to the conferences organised by well established institutes like Tekom or the ISTC. Write the Docs has its roots in the Python community and there is still quite a bit of overlap present. This is not a bad thing and I do think that the content offered and the brilliant people that attended the conference make it very relevant for every documentarian and technical writer out there.
I hope we meet again somewhere on-line in the near future and again next year somewhere in Europe or maybe even in Portland. I promise to shoot a little less pictures and talk a bit more 🙂