Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Hi!  I’m Jen.  I lead the Developer Documentation team at Google.

My team is part of Google’s Developer Relations team, which helps people use Google’s developer products and APIs.  The tech writers on my team provide proactive support to Google’s developer community.  We collaborate with engineering teams as they create APIs and developer tools, and put ourselves in the shoes of the eventual users.  We think about what works well, and where people might get tripped up.  In some cases, it’s possible to preemptively fix the problematic bits before an external audience ever sees them, in which case we advocate for doing so.  In other cases, we write developer’s guides, tutorials, complete reference documentation, and sample code that help developers do what they set out to do. 

Myself, I’ve been in the tech writing field for about 15 years.  I wrote developer docs for around 12 of those, including for 3 years at Google. I got to the point in my career where I wanted to make an impact in a different way, and gradually transitioned into a management role.  I’ve been here for the last couple of years.

I decided to start a blog as a way to organize what I’ve learned during my tech writing career.  I’ve been fortunate to work with some great mentors and have learned a lot.  Perhaps my blog can serve as a surrogate “mentor” to others.

I hope to garner community participation, feedback, and debate (of the non-snarky variety) on the things I post here, so that I can further learn from the wisdom of the masses. My greatest hope is that the discussion that results from my posts will add more value than the posts themselves.

I would also offer this blog as a resource for answering questions from you, my readers. If you’re facing a particular documentation or management issue and would like to get my advice, and the advice of the community of commenters, please send me email from my Google Profile page.  Note that by doing this you’re implicitly giving me permission to publish the contents of your email. It'd be even better to let the readers of this blog know who you are, too, so unless you’d prefer to remain anonymous, please include a link to a site that tells us more about you.

Although I currently work for Google, the learnings and opinions I express in my posts were garnered from my entire career as a technical writer. No one else necessarily agrees with the opinions I express here. 

Welcome to my blog!  I hope you enjoy your stay here.


PS Why is this blog called WTFM? Well, we tell our readers to RTFM, so I guess that makes it my job to...

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