In this week’s episode of the Knowledgebase Ninjas Podcast, Gowri Ramkumar is joined by Matthew Buttler, Senior Technical Writer at Signiant. They discuss the importance of internal communication for document success, how Matthew manages his documentation workflow, and tips on creating effective documentation.
- Matthew’s LinkedIn
- Signiant website
- Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Language and Literature from Carleton University
- Matthew holds a Bachelor of Education (BED) in English/Language Arts Teacher Education from the University of Ottawa
- Matthew is a former Technical Writer and Web Developer for Speedyrails
- Matthew is a former Technical Writer for Macadamian Technologies and Pixelera
- Matthew is a former Web Development Consultant for the Bank of Canada
- Matthew is a former Online Content Specialist at Adobe
- After completing his bachelor’s degree, Matthew started his first job at Shopify. In this role, he was a direct point of contact for ongoing and potential merchants about Shopify’s eCommerce and point of sale products
- After about one year of working as a client specialist, Matthew moved up to the role of Documentation Content Specialist at Shopify. In this role, he worked on the redevelopment of software documentation by working closely with the technical staff, developers, and UX team
- Matthew believes that he learned the core of technical documentation from Shopify, which is still helping him pave his way into the highly emerging industry of technical writing
- Matthew believes that the growth of technical documentation is due to enhancing the usability of documents by keeping the user’s needs in mind
- Matthew says that conducting online surveys of highly technical product features and benchmarking the strategies based on the survey’s results can help technical writers produce highly engaging content
- At Signiant, Matthew’s core KPI is to manage document workflows. He believes that the key to effective documentation workflow management is communication
- Matthew’s documentation workflow starts from talking to engineers about the product. He takes notes on their questions and feedback about the product and then shares that as the initial draft with the technical writers
- Throughout his professional career, Matthew has worked with several renowned companies such as; Shopify, Bank of Canada, Pixelera, and the Parliament of Canada
- Matthew believes that “nothing can stop you from growing towards your path if you put your best into what you do”
- Signiant’s documentation is publically available. Matthew says that publicly available documents help you generate organic traffic
- Matthew encourages emerging technical writers to ask as many questions as they can. If you don’t know something, keep exploring, and never be shy to learn new things for your betterment
- Kathy Sierra an American Game Developer
Matthew’s biggest influence
- Tina Klein Walsh – Senior Manager, Technical Publications at QNX Software Systems
- Matthew shares that she helped him a lot in analysing technical writing, how to think out of the box to create something unique for the readers, and how to manage document workflows.
What documentation-related advice would Matthew give to his twenty-year-old self?
“Have fun, enjoy your time, all you need to do is to learn new things, and explore the world”.
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