In this episode of The Knowledgebase Ninjas Podcast, Gowri Ramkumar is joined by Anusmita Ray, Technical Writer at TrueLayer. They discuss how Anusmita’s educational background helped her succeed as a technical writer, the difference between usable/useful content and perfect content, and tips on creating a more collaborative documentation process.
- Anusmita’s LinkedIn
- TrueLayer website
- Anusmita holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham
- She got her first job as a technical writer at OutSystems without any prior knowledge about the field. She gained experience in terms of technical documentation, public-facing content, and editing and reviewing technical and business-related blog posts
- Anusmita is the only technical writer at TrueLayer
- TrueLayer is a global open banking platform that facilitates the easy integration of next-generation payments and financial data into various applications
- TrueLayer started to operate in the UK and is planning to expand to Australia and Europe
- While Anusmita was finishing her master’s thesis, she came across different software engineering opportunities, which was a predictable career path for her to pursue
- However, she realised that she had composed documents before and was also good at writing due to her involvement in journalism as a student
- Anusmita wanted to pursue the technology industry while keeping her passion for writing alive and in practice. This was when she explored the concept of technical writing and found it to be a productive and interesting combination of her degree (software engineering) and interest (writing)
- Anusmita believes that her degree in computer science, in which she studied coding, the software development cycle, the scrum method, etc., gives her a leg up as a technical writer
- After starting her career in technical documentation, she realised that the applications she had studied were industry-standard processes
- Anusmita started her technical writing journey in 2018 at OutSystems, where she created technical guides for developers without coding experience. She believes that starting with basic documentation and gradually learning and reaching expert requirements such as API documentation is how it should be, rather than starting with API documentation
- OutSystems creates software development lab reforms for critical applications to facilitate businesses that require low-key, less technical, and extremely easy-to-understand documents. So despite being a technical writer, Anusmita didn’t have to go into the details of APIs and the extreme technical side of things.
- Anusmita shares that OutSystems was an enormous learning curve for her as there she learned to write for audiences who were not familiar with the technicalities (coding/programming language)
- The documentation process at TrueLayer mainly consists of several API documentation creations, where the product management team and developers are heavily involved in the process. They follow the feedback templates that Anusmita has created
- Amusmita reviews the feedback templates; once product managers and developers fill it
- To ensure that users, varied audiences, sales personnel, and integration teams understand the document easily, the tech writing team migrated to a platform that hosts their docs where people in the company can leave suggestions, making it a much more collaborative process and experience
- Anusmita works in a development experience team that includes developers, designers, and a senior product manager who is her direct line manager. Anusmita reports to the senior product manager on a non-standardised basis and shares updates on the documentation process, standing, and delivery
- At TrueLayer, they hold bi-weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss things in more detail. In addition, every quarter, Anusmita also meets with senior management
- Tom Johnson’s blog: I’d rather be writing
Who has Anusmita learned the most from in her career?
Anusmita shares that she learned a lot about technical writing from the diverse team at Adyen
What documentation-related advice would Anusmita give to her 20-year-old self?
“Making usable/useful documentation,” Amusmita advises creating a technical document in a way that users can easily comprehend and use to address their queries
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