My name is Gary Niemen. I am originally from London, but have lived in Stockholm, Sweden for 25 years (love refugee). I have worked as a technical writer for about 30 years, starting my journey at IBM and then working mainly in fintech. Lots of learning experiences, but fintech not really my thing. Now a Product Manager at Spotify in the area of technical documentation. Spotify and their way of working. Music tech business. Much more my thing. I’m also proud to be part of the mental health ambassador team at Spotify. Fun fact. Recently found myself getting into cold and hot. Wim Hof’s cold shower therapy and Hot Yoga, which is doing vigorous Yoga in a 40 degree steam room.
I have worked as a technical writer for about 30 years. I have seen it all. I have made all the mistakes in the book. I have seen all the mistakes in the book. Assuming there is a book. Yes I made an impact sometimes, but the impact never lasted long. Now, finally, finally we – our doc team at Spotify – are doing it right. Finally, finally – we are having the impact that I always wanted to have. And, ironically, we are doing it by us technical writers getting out of the way. We are solving internal documentation at Spotify by empowering engineers and treating docs like code. In this talk, I will tell the story – the Hero’s Journey – of going from IBM Bookmaster, Microsoft Word, and Flare to the Holy Grail of docs-like-code. And while I am at it, I’ll share the 10 problems of technical documentation and how we are solving them at Spotify.