RE: Developer "Best Practices" content

Subject: RE: Developer "Best Practices" content
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: yehoshua paul <yehoshua -dot- p -at- technicalwriting -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:48:36 -0400

We have people who are paid to talk to customers. In the technical realm, those are Tech Support and Sales Engineers. The company wants to control the number of contact points, and to minimize external interruptions for non-customer-facing employees (like ... oh... developers and writers).

So, my personal response to such questions is to talk to Tech Support and to Sales Eng. Still working on that.

It might be that I already have much of the info in the docs, but it's not gathered under one heading.



From: ysp10182 -at- gmail -dot- com [mailto:ysp10182 -at- gmail -dot- com] On Behalf Of yehoshua paul
Sent: June-11-12 12:21 AM
To: McLauchlan, Kevin
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Developer "Best Practices" content

To me the answer is obvious: what do your customers say?
Have you ever gotten any feedback from your customers saying that they need such a section, or that a Tips and Tricks page would help? Or do they agree with you and think that such information is redundant for expert users like them.
If you can find out what your readers want than that is the answer to your question.

Disclaimer: This is my generic answer for these types of questions. I personally do not document products where you supply SDK toolkits.

Have a great day,
Yehoshua Paul,
Community contributor and documentation expert
http://technicalwriting.com/


On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 2:24 AM, McLauchlan, Kevin <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com<mailto:Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>> wrote:
This is for list members who document software/hardware/firmware products where a customer might be expected to program an app that uses your product, or to integrate your product into a third-party application.
In other words, with your product you supply a developer's toolkit.

An inhabitant of a corner office has decided that our documentation lacks a page or section that would be Best Practices for programmers using our SDK.

>From my point of view, the entire SDK docs are what a customer/developer might want to know.

Some years ago, that portion of the docs included a Tips and Tricks page until I was asked to remove portions that had become outdated. The whole thing went away.

I see no need - and I think even corner-office would agree - for material that any programmer should already know or can find in an O'Reilly book (do they still publish those?), in a C# for Dummies or a Java for Dummies book or similar.

Our headers and sample code are as standardized as we can make them, and include comments relevant to each major language that we support, so there's nothing additional to say about compile options, etc.

What do y'all do on this topic?


- k


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Developer "Best Practices" content: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Developer "Best Practices" content: From: yehoshua paul

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