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OMG Thursday (aka Documentation Day)

Simone Carletti's profile picture Simone Carletti on

Less than one month ago I blogged about our WTF Day and I posted the results from the first edition. Today I'd like to briefly introduce a similar day-long event that we just experimented with yesterday: the OMG day.

As I wrote, the results from the first edition of the WTF day has been very encouraging and the ones from the second edition that we scheduled two weeks after were even more exciting. A few days later I was compiling a report of our second WTF day and I asked myself what other area could benefit some hackathon that could result in an improvement for our customer experience. The first project that came to my mind was our help site.

In DNSimple the entire team team is responsible for customer care, likewise the entire team is responsible to write the public documentation for our customers. Our public documentation is written in Markdown using Nanoc and hosted in a few public repositories on GitHub such as dnsimple-support and dnsimple-developer. Writing and maintaining documentation is a significant effort, as you probably know if you have contributed to any open source project.

So I came up with the OMG day, which stands for Organize Missing Guides (of course…).

Fun fact: when I originally proposed this idea I called it OMG Friday as a tribute to Aaron Patterson who started a very well known Friday tradition in the Ruby community).

OMG day proposal

Because we work remotely, some team members have different schedules on Friday, so we decided to keep it the same day as the WTF day. In fact, we're now scheduling a day-long event every 2 weeks, switching between OMG and WTF. BTW… thanks tenderlove for your hard work in the Ruby community, we all appreciate it!

The Results

As for the WTF day, it's important to collect the results of an experiment in order to evaluate whether it is effective other than funny. As our repositories are public, the good news is that the results are public as well and you can easily compare the changes in the dnsimple-support and dnsimple-developer repos.

OMG day results

About 25 help articles were updated and at least 5 of them are completely new articles, such as the guide to import a DNS zone from another provider using a Zone file and the mandatory ICANN domain validation.

The support and developer sites also got a refresh and they are more inline with the common DNSimple style. We also started to introduce automatic tests for our documentation repositories, and we're now running them automatically after each commit thanks to Travis CI.

Overall, we're very excited for the results we accomplished. These days are a great way for a small team like ours to concentrate effort and knowledge on improving the experience of our customers. One of the goals of both the WTF and OMG days is to reduce the time each team member spends daily in customer care so that we can reuse the effort to develop new products and keep innovating.

Your feedback is very important to us. If there is any documentation you feel is missing from our website, feel free to contact us or open an issue in any of our public repositories and we'll try to answer it on the next OMG day!

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Simone Carletti

Italian software developer, a PADI scuba instructor and a former professional sommelier. I make awesome code and troll Anthony for fun and profit.

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