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 eventually even the success of your business.

Why Should You Contribute?

In the age of Cloud, “X as a Service” and “Y as a Platform”, technical projects become more and more complex. More often than not technical writers working on open source documentation 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 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!

What is the SUSE Doc Day?

A doc day is a defined period in time when a group of people comes together, virtually or physically, to collaborate on writing documentation on one or more given topics. For our first public SUSE Doc Day, we decided to offer an in-person event on Friday, April 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will take place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville, TN, in combination with SUSECON 2019 and the openSUSE Summit, to give interested attendees of both conferences the chance to join.

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 three or four specific topics such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Container Technologies, OpenStack Cloud, and openSUSE (topics are subject to change, final list to be announced). We will also limit attendance to 12 people per topic (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.

How You Can Contribute?

First of all: In principle, anyone can participate in the SUSE Doc Day. Of course, 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 from interest for 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
  • or propose a topic for new documentation, e.g. for a SUSE Best Practices

If you want to join us for the SUSE Doc Day at SUSECON 2019, register now and secure your seat. And watch out for more detailed information to come during the next few weeks.

More detailed information about Doc Day participation and program is now available via the blog article "First Public SUSE Doc Day Ever –Join us at SUSECON!" Enjoy reading.

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