**This version of the talk was presented at PyCon UK 2017**
** Video available here: https://youtu.be/muhxjdxhIR0**
If you ever skimmed through a README, tried to follow a quickstart tutorial, attempted to decipher an error message, or typed '--help' in your console, congratulations -- you have encountered documentation!
Long gone are the days of massive books with never-ending stories about your software. Today's users are smarter and less patient, which means that we no longer need to document *all the things*, as long as what we do document is clear, concise, helpful, and accessible. And that's where the real work starts.
Documentation requires some attitude adjustment, since prose doesn't neatly compile into binaries as code does. But Don't Panic(tm)! No matter what your role is in the community, you can apply a few key principles from the technical writing world to make your project more docs-friendly, and therefore more user- and contributor-friendly.