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Documentation Planning and Organized Execution with Mark Sellings, Senior Technical Writer at Boomi

Category: Podcast

Last updated on Sep 22, 2022

In this week’s episode of the Knowledgebase Ninja Podcast, Gowri Ramkumar is joined by Mark Sellings, the Senior Technical Writer at Boomi. They discuss Mark’s journey from graphics/web designing into technical writing,  how different experiences add to your career path, and tips on documentation planning and organized execution 

Key facts

  • Mark’s  LinkedIn
  • Boomi website
  • Mark is the Senior Technical Writer at Boomi
  • Boomi is the platform for intelligent connectivity and automation. It connects everyone to everything, anywhere
  • Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Classical Studies from King’s College London University

Key takeaways

  • Mark started his technical writing journey at IBM in 1999 as a Technical Writer and Graphic Designer
  • He temporarily transitioned into graphics and web designing until 2002, after which he joined eg solutions as a Senior Technical Writer, Design and Web Development and since then he dedicated his career to Technical Writing as his core
  • Currently, he is working as a Senior Technical Writer at Boomi 
  • Mark advises emerging technical writers who are interested in pursuing technical writing as a career to start small. He adds that “if you don’t find a role of technical writing anywhere, you can start by joining some technical company” 
  • For Mark, learning is a continuous process. He believes that everyone interested in technical documentation should try to acquire technical knowledge at every stage, no matter their current position 
  • Mark adds that “there is no magical career path, so embrace opportunities irrespective of monetary benefits”
  • Mark’s favourite stage in the technical documentation lifecycle is the initial understanding stage. He believes that the understanding stage makes you realize how well you understand the project and whether you have to go back and rethink your skillset and knowledgebase
  • Mark believes that every experience in life adds to your career and future. He relates his graphics and web designing experience with technical writing:  such as He uses high-level diagrams to deliver complex concepts. Mark believes that its easier to understand a concept with visual rich media than written content
  • Mark shares that at Boomi he works as a documentation flow manager, where he manages the flow of technical documentation, its delivery and inter-team coordination
  • Mark’s technical writing team at Boomi keeps the primary focus on the Q/A and product explanations sessions with developers and product managers. He believes that a thorough focus on Q/A and the initial product detailing phase helps you deliver the document at a faster pace
  • Mark believes in under-committing and over-delivering, therefore, he starts working on a document right after the Q/A session and tries delivering it well before the timeline/release date. He believes that completing a document sometime before the release also helps the technical writing team to discuss the finished product with the developers  and improvise if there are any lackings
  • Mark believes that having a relationship with the development team is the most underrated skill in technical writing, but fortunately, he has great relations with them

Key Resources

What documentation-related advice would Mark give to his/her 20-year-old self?

Focus on planning and organized execution. Mark believes that planning helps you execute anything in an organized manner. The same applies to technical documentation as well. 

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