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8 writers in under 8 months: from zero to a docs team in no time flat

Project: Rackspace Documentation

Twelve months ago, Rackspace had one technical writer working on their OpenStack project, running fast to stay still. Less than twelve months later, they have eight writers in Australia and the US, a world-class Agile development model, internal systems, and a fully overhauled documentation suite.

This talk covers the challenges of creating a documentation team from nearly nothing within an established software development group, while continuing to contribute and foster upstream open source documentation. All while living on the other side of the planet from Mission Control.

Lana Brindley and Alex Settle spearheaded the new team from their homes in Brisbane, Australia. They will talk about the challenges of the past eight months, and the challenges that they are yet to face, with a focus on open source and Agile documentation models.

Lana Brindley

Lana Brindley has several university degrees, a few of which are even relevant to her field. She has has been playing and working with technology since she discovered the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game in the 80′s. Eventually, she worked out a way to get paid for her two passions – writing and playing with gadgetry – and has been technical writing ever since. Right now, she’s working for Rackspace from her home in Brisbane Australia, getting her hands dirty on cloud documentation, and loving every minute of it. She is passionate about open source, cake decorating, great docs, and is raising her very own geek girl. One day, Lana hopes to write the manual for that, too.