Sometimes Dragons

The Docs Are In: a new RedMonk video series

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Title card with the text "The Docs Are In" against a backdrop of a pattern of repeating documentation icons

Last week my excellent colleague Dr. Kate Holterhoff and I kicked off a new video series, The Docs Are In. As Kate notes in our inaugural video, the title per se is a play on words: 

I think it’s a great collaboration, especially because it’s such a good double entendre. “Docs” meaning not only the fact that we are doctors but also that we have great interest in documentation.

That is, in this series Kate and/or I sometimes talk to other docs and sometimes talk about documentation (and on occasion even get to talk to other docs about documentation).

Why talk to other doctors?

Kate holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon and is a Victorianist by training. I am a medievalist with a Ph.D. from the University at Albany (hello, fellow public school alums!). And while we both eventually took on various roles in the tech industry on our way to becoming RedMonk analysts, it became very clear in the conversations Kate and I had when she first joined RedMonk earlier this year that our experiences as graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, teachers, and scholars influence the way we think about the tech industry. Conferences, for instance, are very different. Publishing sometimes feels like it happens in parallel dimensions. As we cover in our first The Docs Are In discussion, education and assessment often have completely different end goals and motivations. And we want to know what other folks who have been through the processes involved in earning a doctorate think about the tech industry.

Also, we (OK, especially I, very selfishly) want to know what amazing research folks are working on, be it part of their day job or a side project (like the very cool research Kate is turning out at any given moment).

Why the interest in documentation?

Because documentation is that important (in the tech industry or otherwise).

(While I have been very vocal about my own interest in documentation and technical communication in both the tech industry and academia, it is worth calling out that Kate–who I met when we were both on postdoctoral fellowships at Georgia Tech–has also taught in the Computer Science Tech Comm course series that I used to coordinate.)

What’s next?

Kate and I both have plans in the works for future videos in the series.

For now, check out our first video where I interview Kate about her ongoing research on certifications in the tech industry; you also get some history on how a Victorianist and a medievalist ended up working together at a place like RedMonk. You can watch the video below or see the full transcript and related links.

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