Here’s a great hack: borrow coding techniques for documentation

Flickr: marc_smith: 2003 MSR Netscan Usenet Treemap by number of Posters

I’ve written about collaborative writing since 2007 on my blog. In the last half-decade or so, I’ve shifted to social coding for writing. I thrive on open-source techniques for API design, documentation, and developer support. Working on OpenStack since 2010 means I’ve worked on docs for more than 25 REST API services with thousands of API calls.

To share what I’ve learned, I have a side project called Docs Like Code. The site is specifically-focused on best practices and lessons learned about applying software dev techniques and tools to software documentation. I want to learn and teach at the same time as I keep exploring this space.

If you want to see a bit of how the site is put together, and how you can use GitHub to make web sites, join in. There’s an email list with three lessons and a free PDF checklist offer just for signing up.

There’s also an ebook and print book available now on Lulu(print or epub), Amazon (print or Kindle), or Barnes and Noble (print or Nook).

In the meantime, take a look at this quick less-than-five-minute look at how you can build Jekyll sites locally on a Mac. Next, I’ll post about how to use Docker to build Jekyll sites on a Mac or Windows computer.

Originally published at on September 26, 2016.