Erin McKean

Developer Advocate, SF City Team | IBM

Erin McKean

Erin McKean is the founder of the newly-not-for-profit Wordnik.com, the world’s biggest online dictionary.

Before founding Wordnik, she was the editor-in-chief of American Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, and before Javascript, she dabbled in HyperCard, Perl, and Omnimark (if you have ever written anything in Omnimark, she will buy you a drink). She’s the author of the Weird and Wonderful Words books, the best-selling novel The Secret Lives of Dresses, and (most recently) The Hundred Dresses, a field guide to dresses. She blogs at dressaday.com. When you meet her, please tell her your favorite word.


Making the implicit explicit: modeling developer norms and tools

When you’re working a tutorial or demo code it can be really tempting to simplify or abstract away everything that isn’t immediately part of the technology you’re explaining.

However, developers don’t develop in a vacuum, and your examples shouldn’t take place in that frictionless universe beloved by physicists, either.

In this talk, you’ll learn how to add even more value to the content you produce for developers by including helpful and useful information (and modeling good developer behavior!) such as:

  • editor tips and tricks
  • third-party tools, such as clipboard managers
  • linting and testing best practices
  • environment setup and maintenance pointers
  • ways of handling security concerns

By making explicit the implicit assumptions that experienced developers make around setup, environment, tooling, and security concerns, you help improve your audience’s understanding of best practices while you educate them about your product or service.

Developers may not use your product forever, but they will always remember (and appreciate!) the advocate or company that helped them find the time-saving tool or editor hack that they now use every day!


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