All of the ingredients, none of the recipes

This is an egg. This is an onion. Now go make an onion omelette. There is a flavour of documentation I call “All of the ingredients, none of the recipes”. I’m not sure I invented the phrase, but I’m sure I like it. It refers to the sort of documentation that tells you all the […]

Recommended reading: limiting work in progress

Three articles about limiting work in progress so you can actually get things done: “How finishing what you start makes teams more productive and predictable” by Lucas F. Costa: “Despite the simple mathematics, when some managers see that work is taking longer to finish, they start more work hoping that starting tasks earlier causes them to finish […]

The reader’s needs, key takeaways and front loading

After years of grumpily editing old content, I’ve found that many writers – including myself – have a problem meeting the reader’s needs. The average reader needs a concrete outcome like following a process or learning a new concept. Usually, the overall structure of the content matches that need; technical writers have a sort of […]

Knowledgebase Ninjas podcast

Gowri Ramkumar at Knowledgebase Ninjas gave me the opportunity to participate in my first ever podcast and talk about my experience in technical writing and the direction Unity Documentation is going. Listen to the episode on their website.

An opinion about not having opinions

“We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind—for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.52 I’m having my house renovated by a guy called Phil. Phil doesn’t want to turn the house into his vision of […]

The shower isn’t necessary

You know that moment in the shower when you suddenly get an excellent idea? That happens when your brain, working away quietly while you’re talking to yourself about what could possibly have compelled you to buy shower gel that smells like a food item, suddenly connects two dots. We say that things just clicked, or […]

Questions to ask about a candidate

Hiring’s hard, and the cost of getting it wrong can be fairly high. Sometimes new employees will do harm; often they just won’t do as much good as the candidates you didn’t hire. So here are three questions to ask about a candidate that may help you make the best hiring choice. Do they bring […]