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Can’t wait to attend SUSECON 2019 ? Do you think documentation is important ? Have you recently had a look at the Web site? Did you realize there is something new on the agenda ?

We – the SUSE Documentation Team – are super excited ! In the spirit of  this year’s SUSECON theme “My Kind of Open”, we will host the very first public SUSE Doc Day as an in-person event on Friday April 5, from 9 am to 6 pm at the Renaissance  Nashville Hotel. The Doc Day takes place on the last day of SUSECON and the first day of the openSUSE Summit, to give attendees of both conferences the chance to join.

 

What is the SUSE Doc Day ?

A Doc Day is a time when a group of people gathers (virtually or physically) to collaborate on writing documentation on one or more given topics. In our case, SUSE Doc Day is a full day event where we bring like-minded individuals together in one room with the goal to encourage attendees of the two conferences to collaborate on documentation on just one, or a few, of the defined topics.

Our aim for the Doc Day is to work in teams to:

  • Prioritize what’s most important
  • Review, edit, reorganize, and update individual sections
  • Kick off the creation of new guides

Why is Documentation Important?

Documentation is an essential part of any product. There is no product which is so simple to use and maintain, that it doesn’t require any description, introduction or examples. This is especially true for enterprise software which covers many use cases. Most software solutions only become usable thanks to detailed documentation. If you work in an IT department and you are responsible for a functioning environment and smooth processes, missing or poor documentation can impact your daily work and even the success of your business.

Why Should I Contribute to Documentation ?

In the age of Cloud, “X as a Service” and “Y as a Platform”, technical projects become more and more complex. Increasingly, technical writers working on documentation for software projects just cannot easily replicate use cases and scenarios as implemented for production at a customer’s organization, to test and describe them properly. In consequence, documentation projects are increasingly reliant on contributions from external experts. These experts are: YOU!

Should I Attend the Doc Day?

If you are a SUSE customer, partner, or an employee, we encourage you to participate in the Doc Day. If you are a system administrator,  a consultant, an engineer, an information security specialist, a sales or support engineer, enterprise architect, training instructor – we call upon you to share your knowledge!

We are interested to learn what information is vital to your usage of our product set and what we could improve upon.

A writing background is not necessary, what we’re looking for most is your technical know-how and different skill sets. If you can confidently convey your message, we want you!

Why Should I Attend the Doc Day?

  • You will learn the basics of organizing and creating documentation. (Feel free to also attend the talk “Technical Writing for Non-Writers” at the openSUSE Summit on Saturday by the doc teams very own, Stefan Knorr.)
  • You can share your know-how and benefit from the experience of others.
  • You can be a vital part of our open-source community. We share all SUSE documentation under the GNU Free Documentation License !

What Can I Focus On ?

Of course, nobody expects you to write entire manuals or guides in a single day. But you can help to improve existing documentation by reviewing, editing and updating it. In addition, together we can use the Doc Day to kick-off the creation of new guides and papers for topics that you think are not yet covered (well enough).

To ensure a productive environment and tangible results, we will confine the efforts of the Doc Day to three specific product categories. For each category, we have thought up a few suggested focus areas. However, if you are interested in a different focus area, do bring it up!

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (hosted by Frank Sundermeyer)
    • Suggested focus areas:
      • Create a chapter “log file management”
      • Create a chapter “certificate management”
      • Create a quick start guide “Btrfs”
      • Clean-up/re-org/expand chapters for LDAP/Kerberos/Active Directory
      • Improve Virtualization guide
    • Source Git: https://github.com/SUSE/doc-sle
  • Container Technologies (hosted by Stefan Knorr):
  • OpenStack Cloud (hosted by Alexandra Settle):
    • Suggested focus areas:
      • Reorganization and consolidation of existing content to make SUSE OpenStack Cloud documentation more accessible
      • Creating a new section on the maintenance of compute nodes
      • Suggestions for helping users be effective quickly with SUSE OpenStack Cloud planning, installation, and operations
    • Source Git: https://github.com/SUSE-Cloud/doc-cloud

 

To make the most out of the Doc Day, before attending please have a look at:

What Is the Agenda ?

Our preliminary agenda for Doc Day looks as follows:

Before 9am: Breakfast at the SUSECON breakfast area (optional).

We start at 9 am:

  • Intro to documentation and overview of collaboration options
  • Coffee break
  • Split up into work groups, starting with feedback rounds
  • Lunch
  • Split up in work groups for specific topics
  • coffee break
  • Work groups
  • All together: Short presentation of results of each work group
  • Wrap up /Closing remarks

 

Doc Day officially ends at 6 pm.

After 6pm: Thank You and Goodbye Party (optional).

Do I Need to Register ?

Everyone who wants to contribute to our documentation is very welcome. If you want to join us for the Doc Day at SUSECON 2019, registration in advance is required. For organizational reasons, attendance is limited to 12-15 participants per working group or topic.

Registration for the Doc Day:

  • Customers and partners: Please select the Doc Day package during your SUSECON registration to secure your seat. The Doc Day is free of extra charge. Breakfast (at SUSECON), refreshments, and lunch (in-room) will be served.
  • SUSE employees: Email meike.chabowski@suse.com to confirm your area of interest.

If you register for Doc Day, we may contact you via email during the next few weeks to share more detailed information about the topics and the work groups, and to understand if you have specific ideas or proposals.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Doc Day!

 

Disclaimer: The text at hand has not been reviewed by a native speaker. If you find typos or language mistakes, please send them to me (meike.chabowski@suse.com) – or if you like them, just keep them and feed them. 


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