Making Yourself Redundant on Day One
C2 | Tue 22 Jan | 11:10 a.m.–11:40 a.m.
Alexandra is a technical support officer for FastMail. In addition to helping customers resolve problems, Alexandra spends a good deal of time writing and updating help pages on the FastMail website and writing internal documentation for staff members. Alexandra currently lives in Melbourne, but has lived all over the east coast of Australia and has studied in Canada and Singapore. Alexandra is passionate about writing and about learning new things. She combines the two by learning new things at work, and then writing a tutorial about it. Alexandra studied anthropology at university and did her final research project studying people who learn languages over the internet. She is fascinated by online communication and the impact it has on creating a global culture and shared methods of communication. Working for an email company and spending most of the day talking online with other people is therefore a perfect fit for her.
The first few weeks at a new job are hard. There seem to be too many questions and not enough answers, and so much assumed knowledge about the company you joined and the products they make. I’m going to talk about how you can make those first few weeks your most productive and valuable to your new company. By writing internal documentation that answers all the questions only someone new on the block knows to ask, you can help pave the way for new hires in the future, and even help identify and solve customer pain points. Drawing from my own experiences working as an intern and support agent among highly technical teams, I will go over deciding what to document based on the level of technical proficiency you would expect the reader to have, how to use tone to convey the company’s spirit and keep a future reader interested, and how to future-proof your internal documentation so it doesn’t stop being updated when you move on.