Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

Stephen King's practical advice for tech writers

Rikki Endsley (Red Hat)
2:35pm3:15pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers, managers, community members, marketers, writers, team leaders, and community managers

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to define an audience, outline an idea, decide what information to include and terms to define, repurpose content for multiple audiences, and streamline the writing process


Open source communities are made up of individuals with a range of experience and expertise. How do you write for these different audiences? Sure, you’re comfortable shooting sentences over IRC or knocking out a note to your mailing list, but what about reporting your team’s progress to a nontechnical manager or explaining your product to nontechnical end users?

Even if you don’t enjoy writing and have no intentions of becoming a professional tech writer, chances are you’ll have to draft reports, mailing list updates, or technical articles at some point in your career. Rikki Endsley explains how you can improve your writing before you start writing—using solid advice from Stephen King. Rikki shares tips and tricks collected over 15 years in tech publishing writing for audiences of all levels, including Unix sysadmins, Linux developers, project managers, marketers, journalists, and open source newbies, and shows how with proper planning, you can easily repurpose your content for multiple audiences.

Topics include:

  • Defining your audience(s)
  • Outlining your idea
  • Deciding what information to include and terms to define
  • Repurposing content for multiple audiences
  • Streamlining the writing process
Photo of Rikki Endsley

Rikki Endsley

Red Hat

Rikki Endsley is the community manager of Previously, Rikki worked as a community evangelist at Red Hat on the Open Source and Standards team, a freelance tech journalist, community manager for the USENIX Association, associate publisher of Linux Pro Magazine, ADMIN, and Ubuntu User, and the managing editor of Sys Admin magazine and