About the Codewriter

My name is Brian Dominick. I make, teach, and use powerful documentation development environments in support of forward-thinking product teams.

Figure 1. Brian Dominick presents Codewriting and LiquiDoc to the Write the Docs conference in Portland, May 2017

After two and a half years of reinventing docs at Big Data startup Rocana (acquired by Splunk), I was eager to work docs magic at new organizations. Now I run a consultancy (Codewriting, LLC) making docs-as-code dreams come true for product-focused engineering outfits. If you have an exciting project with challenging internal and user-facing documentation needs, let’s talk.

Like DevOps for docs, I specialize in documentation tooling and workflows for maximum accuracy and currency of complicated documentation projects, tying engineers, technical writers, and third-party developers together with collaborative solutions.

My forthcoming book Codewriting lays out the new fundamentals of this practice, sometimes called DocOps. Across 18 chapters of fresh concepts as well as concrete examples and exercises, Codewriting explores a new approach to developing and maintaining docs—​one that draws extensively from practices and environments proven by software engineering teams. Early drafts are available now in the same open-source repository from which the site you’re now reading was built (details below).

My free and open-source tool LiquiDoc enables true single sourcing of docs and product, building and optimizing semi-structured data into content for rendering in documentation and other user interfaces. In combination with several technologies like Git, Asciidoctor, Jekyll, and Liquid, LiquiDoc builds the site you’re reading now, as well as my book—​all from the same source repo.

Codewriting, LLC specializes in:

  • Documentation platform development, especially using

    • Ruby/Bash scripting

    • AsciiDoc/Asciidoctor

    • Jekyll/Liquid

  • Workflows for documentation development and management

  • Documentation planning and design

Codewriting, LLC works in collaboration with other code-oriented documentarians and docs-oriented developers to provide:

  • Product documentation

    • Developer guides and API docs

    • User manuals, help sites, and knowledge bases

    • Rich diagrams and illustrations

  • Docs transformation, including

    • Platform/source migration

    • Content localization and internationalization

  • Other technical communications services

    • Presentation design

    • Technical white papers

    • Specifications and proposals

Codewriting, LLC is sufficiently skilled and networked for full-service documentation projects, from tooling to information architecture to writing to deployment.

Exemplary Projects

My first year as an independent contractor was pretty productive. Besides maintaining LiquiDoc, LiquiDoc CMF, and other “side projects”, I worked for several clients that put my skills to the test. Here are some of my featured projects from 2018.

Digi Embedded Systems Docs

screenshot portfolio digi embedded

Digi’s complex hardware-embedded, Linux-based platforms posed the most dynamic challenge I have ever encountered. I am proud to have solved it using LiquiDoc CMF. Four parallel product lines, each with hardware and software variations that all require distinct references and instructions that absolutely have to be kept accurate. Together with an eager senior technical writer and some of Digi’s own engineers, Codewriting delivered a well-organized and -instructed documentation platform their engineers love using on a regular basis. They have even begun extending and scaling the platform, sourcing with AsciiDoc and YAML files embedded in numerous product repos from which they compile the Embedded products. The Digi Embedded docs site is now the flagship LiquiDoc CMF project.
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Okera Documentation Site

screenshot portfolio okera

Just before launching its own enterprise product, Okera needed to “platformify” and systematize its Markdown-based docs. In addition to content services, I tooled a basic Jekyll site to properly build and serve their content, as well as adding Algolia Search and numerous other features and theming.
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Kong Developer Hub

screenshot portfolio konghq hub

This simple “static web app” called for some cool JavaScript (solved with jQuery) as well as Liquid templating and other cool elements of a robust Jekyll site, such as Jekyll collections. This project posed a terrific set of content and data sourcing challenges, essentially solved with YAML and Liquid.
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LiquiDoc CMF Guides Docset & AJYL Site

screenshot portfolio ldcmf ajyl

This site hosts the docs for my own documentation tool and framework—​of course itself using the technologies it covers. This is a fully open-sourced example of complex product docs single-sourced with LiquiDoc CMF. It also documents the AJYL docstack more broadly, demonstrating how to combine AsciiDoc, Jekyll, YAML, and Liquid into a powerful, flexible documentation environment, for software products and beyond. This project is still very much a work in progress.
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Other Resources