No product or software solution is complete without great documentation to help users get the best from it, and as easily as possible.
At Quantexa, our Documentation Support Services team helps all parts of the business with creating great technical content. Their primary goal is to enhance the Quantexa Platform product offering with great technical documentation, and you might have used our online documentation already!
We put the spotlight on @conor to talk about his role as a Technical Writer at Quantexa.
I joined the Documentation Support Services ‘team’ at Quantexa as a Technical Writer in 2020, but there were just two of us!
Before that, I’d worked in Project Management and Customer Success roles, where I’d gained some writing experience. So Technical Writing as a discipline was new to me and I had to learn everything from scratch, such as the processes, tools and techniques.
Between us, we had a lot to do!
How do you normally start your working day?
I always start my day with breakfast and a cup of tea! But I’m hoping to move my evening run to the morning as it’ll help energise me, especially as the days start getting shorter.
Then I catch up on work emails, and messages in Slack and Teams before I look at my calendar. Once I’ve done that, I think about any upcoming project milestones and create my TO DO list for the day.
How would you describe a typical day?
As Technical Writers, we’re focused on providing technical documentation for the entire Quantexa Platform, working closely with the Engineering and Product teams.
Every morning, our team has a short Daily Standup meeting on Teams, where we each share what we’re working on, and what we’re planning for the day. It’s also an opportunity to flag any issues, make suggestions or ask for help.
We work in an Agile way, using 2-week Sprints, in much the same way as the Engineering teams.
On most days I’m involved in doing some element of document review, supporting the engineers with their documentation tasks and providing guidance on best practice. We also create resources to help our colleagues in other parts of the business to become better writers, and to streamline their documentation tasks.
We each have individual projects that we’re working on, so we provide the rest of the team with regular updates and ask for input and feedback when needed. Each of us is also aligned to one of the specialist Engineering teams so that we can provide more focused documentation support. The amount of work for my project varies week-to-week depending on the development effort.
I also respond to requests for information and resources from colleagues, as well as requests for access to systems.
What do you enjoy most in your role?
I feel I real sense of achievement when I see my content published on the Documentation site because I can see my contribution. When we make improvements that are really user-focused, I feel that we’ve improved the user experience and contributed to Quantexa’s mission, which we’re all a part of.
It’s important that people can see we have a great product and the documentation is part of that.
What are your main goals as a Technical Writer?
The main goal it to always think about the user, which means putting yourself in their shoes and conveying information in an accessible way.
We always ask ourselves: ‘what does the user need to know, and why?’
We also want to support our colleagues in R&D with documentation because writing good documentation is not easy and we’re well-equipped to help people. So being a team-player is really important.
We always try to challenge ourselves and others to be clear, concise and accurate.
So we don’t leave any stone unturned.
What are your most memorable moments?
When Quantexa v2 came out, that gave us all a real sense of achievement as I got involved before that release.
I wasn’t a Technical Writer before joining Quantexa, so it was a huge change and a challenge to do something different, but I’m really happy to have joined this team and to be doing work that’s really satisfying.
I’ve really enjoyed delivering a series of presentations to our internal community to share best practices in Technical Documentation and it was really well-received, so I was happy about that.
What do you think are the most important attributes of a Technical Writer?
You need to be able to put yourself in the user’s shoes and you have to stay curious, ask challenging questions, and not give up.
You have to be extremely detail-focused, you can’t let anything slide.
Although we work in a team, we need to be able to work independently and manage our own work and schedule and be proactive about getting more information or clarification when we need it.
What are you focusing on at the moment?
I’m always focused on being a better writer and finding new ways to improve our content and processes. We have a mission to help support others with resources and practical tools and guidelines to make documentation easier for them, so I’m currently focused on another knowledge sharing project.
I’m looking forward to the future at Quantexa because we’re part of something that’s successful and growing, and it’s a real ‘force for good’ in the world.