About

I'm Fabrizio Ferri Benedetti, a technical and UX writer based in Barcelona, Spain (more)


Latest posts

Feb. 10, 2024

What to do when you're feeling AI anxiety as a tech writer

Some technical writers in my network are genuinely worried about their professional future in the AI age. Will large language models take my job, they wonder. Are we going to be replaced by GPT, they ask in meetups and community forums. My short answer is “No”. My longer answer is “No, unless you reject the benefits of LLMs”. For my complete answer, keep reading this post.

Jan. 17, 2024

Signs that you need a technical writer

Soon after publishing Tips for hiring your first technical writer, some readers kindly suggested to follow up with a post covering the previous step in the tech writing journey, that is, the realization that one needs a technical writer. As there seems to be a strong appetite for this kind of content, I’m going to spend some words to list what I think are the most egregious signs that your team, company, or product requires a technical writer (or a tech writing team).

Jan. 8, 2024

Docs observability, or measuring docs inside a product-docs system

As technical writers we want to know if the docs we’re writing are accomplishing their goals. In other words, we want to know how good are docs relative to the business goals they’re aiming to support or improve. Are docs serving their purpose? Which of the three budgets are docs supporting? When tech bubbles burst, roles usually seen as cost centers, such as tech writing, are ripe for layoffs, no matter how staunchly we defend them. That’s why we continue mulling over the question of value and how we measure it.

Dec. 13, 2023

What tech writers can learn from video game manuals

I’m not only a technical writer and an avid collector of old manuals: I’m also a gamer. One of the bits I always enjoyed about video games were the manuals, from the slim booklets that accompanied arcade games to the hefty guides that helped build virtual worlds in our heads while we waited for a few kilobytes to load in memory. Those manuals still hold valuable lessons for the software documentation we write today.

Nov. 8, 2023

Tips for hiring your first technical writer

Every once in a while, startup founders and managers decide that they need someone to create and manage their docs –perhaps after reading this letter. Some contact me to understand how they should go about hiring for a tech writer. Since I’ve already published tips for job hunting as a tech writer, I thought it would be a good idea to write down some advice for the other side, too. Here are my recommendations for software companies wanting to hire their first technical writer.

Oct. 23, 2023

Chat with Tom Johnson about AI and tech comms

I had a cool chat with Tom Johnson (idratherbewriting.com) about AI and its impact on technical writing and documentation. Along the way, we also had the chance of discussing open source docs and the challenge of being a first-time contributor.

Oct. 22, 2023

My favorite tech writing tools

I’ve already presented the gear I use at work. Here’s my list of favorite software tools for technical writing, the ones I couldn’t do without in my day-to-day routine. They mostly apply to a docs-as-code, software documentation setting. Notice that I’m not listing docs generators or markup languages on purpose, as we seldom get to choose them.

Sep. 23, 2023

Bestiary: On Doc Types and Other Animals

Of documentation many are the kinds throughout the web—unnumbered, since no writer can count their multitudes, nor rightly learn the ways of their wild nature; wide they roam, these patterns, as far as Internet sets. Let me, o reader, speak of these bewitching creatures, for in the end all content types are chimeras, and those who work to reduce their number are doomed to fail…

Sep. 20, 2023

Once Upon a Time There Were... Docs

Here are the video and abstract from my talk Once Upon a Time There Were… Docs from Write the Docs Atlantic 2023.

Sep. 16, 2023

Tips for job hunting as a technical writer

I’ve been working as a writer in tech for more than 15 years now. During this time I’ve been at five different companies. I’ve done tons of interviews and got more than a dozen offers, some of which I ended up accepting. It didn’t always start with clicking “Apply”; it didn’t always go as expected. Whatever the outcome, though, I learned a thing or two which I’d like to share.

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