What is the SUSE Doc Day?

A Doc Day is a time when a group of people gathers to collaborate on writing documentation on one or more given topics. After the huge success of the very first public SUSE Doc Day at SUSECON 2019 in Nashville last year, we decided to offer a similar in-person experience for our upcoming SUSECON 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. SUSE Doc Day will take place on the last day of SUSECON, on Friday, March 27, 2020 (09:00-18:00), at the Convention Centre Dublin.

The main premise is to get a group of interested people in a room together and have them work towards shared goals. To help you feel more comfortable, we will give a short overview of our documentation, how we usually work, and how you can contribute. Of course, you cannot write entire manuals or guides in one single day. But you can help us to improve existing documentation by reviewing, editing and updating it. In addition, we will 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 with tangible results, we will confine the documentation efforts to a limited number of specific topics such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Container Technologies, Storage, and Open Build Service (topics are subject to change, final list to be announced). We might also have to limit attendance to 10-15 participants per work group or topic; a waiting list will be made available.

The SUSE Doc Day is free of extra charge, registration in advance is required for planning purposes. Refreshments will be served.

Why Documentation?

Documentation is an essential part of a product – above all when it comes to software. You hardly find a "self-explanatory” software tool. There is no product which is so simple to use and maintain, that it doesn't require any description, introduction or examples. 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 might impact your daily work and even the success of your business.

Why Should You Contribute?

In the age of container and cloud, “X as a Service” and “Y as a Platform,” technical projects become more and more complex. Most technical writers working on open source documentation projects cannot easily replicate use cases or scenarios implemented for production at a customer’s organization, and are therefore unable to test or describe processes properly. In consequence, documentation projects are increasingly reliant on contributions from external experts working on a regular basis with our technologies, products and solutions. These experts are: YOU.

Whether you are a system administrator using SUSE products daily, a partner consultant implementing our products and solution stacks onsite, an engineer developing Linux technologies used in openSUSE or SUSE products, an information security specialist, support engineer, enterprise architect, you name it—we call upon you to share your knowledge! Be a vital part of our open source community—contribute some of your know-how, and benefit from the experience of others. We share all SUSE documentation under the GNU Free Documentation License!

How Can You Contribute?

First of all: Anyone can participate in the SUSE Doc Day. You don’t need to have a technical writing background. We know (and appreciate the fact) that you can help to deliver specific content. For every product and solution, there are subject matter experts that have profound know-how and skills. You are working on a huge variety of topics, and you know which kind of information is needed and might be of interest to others, too.

However, the ever-growing complexity of IT products and projects requires comprehension of technical contexts, and the ability to explain those in a clear language. This means a minimum requirement is that you are really up for talking and/or writing about your experiences with our products and technologies.

There are several ways to contribute to our documentation during the Doc Day. We host all our documentation sources on GitHub. To make the most out of the SUSE Doc Day, we recommend that you have a look at the respective repositories of the defined topics beforehand. After that, you can either:

  • Pick a product where you want to help improve existing manuals and guides
  • Propose a topic for new documentation, (e.g. SUSE Best Practices)

What Else Do You Need to Know?

If you want to join us for the SUSE Doc Day at SUSECON 2020, select the SUSE Doc Day package with your SUSECON registration to secure your seat. Also, be sure to select one topic* of interest from the following:

  • Enterprise Server
  • Container Technologies
  • Storage
  • Open Build Service
  • Quo Vadis? (R)evolution of documentation – a discussion.

Please note: If you register for SUSE Doc Day, you give us permission to contact you via email to share more detailed information about planned topics and the work groups.

SUSE Doc Day takes place on Friday, March 27, 2020 (the last day of SUSECON), and will not end until 18:00. Please plan your travel accordingly.

* Topics may be subject to change!

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