Arrival: The Journey Of Our Documentation Platform To Station
Ben is a polyglot software developer and educator with experience in frontend and backend development, APIs and documentation. He has worked on applications for a major New York-based financial services corporation, and have built and maintained SDKs, documentation, code samples, and tutorials for one of the world's leading Cloud Communications API providers from the R&D Center in Tel Aviv.
Ben has presented at software conferences around the globe on topics ranging from natural language understanding and algorithm development to effective team organization and communication. He finds the intersection of work in the areas of software, community and developer education to be deeply fulfilling.
Vonage APIs is a complex and feature rich suite of API products and tooling. Each product is a microcosm of complexity and inextricably linked to others in the suite. How do you choose the technology for a documentation platform for both current needs and those that have not yet been anticipated?
That was the challenge in 2017 when we launched our first iteration of the platform. We chose to build our own custom documentation site rather than adopt an off the shelf solution, because we always wanted to retain the flexibility to say "yes" to any evolving change as the business needs grew and evolved. That same desire led us to radically redesign our single-purpose documentation platform as a global solution for all our documentation needs both now and in the future. We call this new platform Station.
Previously, contributing content to our documentation site had more in common with software development than writing. It was time-consuming, error-prone and complex. But now, Station separates the content from the platform that renders it. Anyone can create and deliver content without needing to know the underlying technology stack.
Why did we embark on this journey? What problems were we hoping to solve? What benefits did it yield? In this talk we will cover the business needs that led us to transition our platform into Station and why we chose the path we did. We will walk through the pain points in the process, the key takeaways we gleaned and examine the benefits it has delivered thus far.