Two years ago I had the good fortune to join the company behind the world's most popular open source rich-text editor project, TinyMCE.
At the time I didn't know a thing about WYSIWYG editors, yet within 3 months I had a better grasp on the product than any of the non-engineering or support staff. Without exception! How did I do it? I re-wrote TinyMCE's technical documentation*.
The benefits of writing docs – or doing a similar task – are numerous for both employee and company:
- She will get up to speed with the core product at a technical level extremely quickly.
- She will need to play around with the product to confirm that what she wrote actually works, thereby obtaining hands-on experience.
- She will encounter issues requiring a conversation with the engineering or product team. Technology marketers must be able to speak geek.
The onboarding benefits to the company of new hires doing a task like writing docs, technical whitepapers, etc, are numerous. If you're not doing it, you should.
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