Raghuram Pandurangan, Documentation Chapter Lead for Causeway Technologies joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninja and shares his journey towards documentation and his advice for anyone trying to make it in the field. Check out all the other episodes of Knowledgebase Ninjas.
Connect with Raghuram Pandurangan and Causeway Technologies documentation here:
How did Raghuram get into documentation?
Raghuram studied chemical engineering, but after graduation, he developed an interest in programming by getting different diplomas in computer-related subjects. According to him, he accidentally started working as a technical writer without any guidance, but with due diligence, hard work, and inborn passion, he excelled in the field.
Raghuram has been a technical writer for almost 20 years now and is currently working as the Documentation Chapter Lead at Causeway Technologies, which is a software provider company for the construction industry.
The documentation process at Causeway Technologies
Initially, when Raghuram joined the company, there was almost no process or any tools for documentation. He began setting up a process and also used Robohelp, which suited their end-user needs. They have moved most of the company’s products to the cloud or SaaS, giving customers access through the company website. He and his team also create personas for the products and based on that, every user gets a separate set of documentation.
Their documentation is external, but they maintain their source files in an internal shared location that does not provide access to any search engine or any analytic tools. Raghuram says they plan to build their own knowledge base to generate organic traffic and to be able to analyse how the content is being consumed.
Important factors for creating documentation
For Raghuram, the most important factor to keep in mind is the end-user. In their company, customers are given access by the use of HTML files on the website, which allows them to access content whenever they want through whichever device they use. The team also releases installation and release notes periodically to keep customers up to speed.
Keeping up-to-date as a technical writer
Raghuram believes it is essential for technical writers to keep up with the latest tools and techniques and encourages them to attend conferences and learning sessions. He has created: Society for Technical Communication which highlights all the new developments in the industry and for aspiring technical writers to gain guidance.
Who has Raghuram learned the most from?
Raghuram’s recommended documentation resources
Raghuram recommends attending conferences related to technical writing:
What advice would Raghuram give to his 20-year-old self?
Raghuram says he would advise himself to be passionate and to not get caught up in perfection, rather focus on product and release priorities.