Continuous Content, Continuous Improvement (Planet Labs)

Planet Labs SDK & CLI for Python Splash Screen

Designing, developing & managing technical content

The Planet Labs SDK and CLI for Python targets technical users—who aren't necessarily developers. The primary user need was for automated workflows to transmit data and to easily fold it into their specialized analysis workflows. With the release of Version 2.0, we built out the content with this primary need in mind, opting for a mkdocs-material template that I designed and implemented.

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Python Notebooks demostrating API for transmitting data and analysis

Critical content in code examples

Planetary Variables through Planet Subscriptions API were new offerings for a new target audience. I prioritized code examples as the first content to produce. This provided several benefits. Early on, I was able to give the development team feedback based on my experience. When it came to writing the user guide content, I was already familiar with using the RestFUL API and specialized libraries. Finally, we delivered code in the form of Python Notebooks that provided the templates for quickly transmiting data and beginning analysis.

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Planet Combined Imagery Product Specs

Full editorial support for expert content

Planet Labs had a lot of well-respected industry experts who had much to say. But the organization didn't have a sense of what a managing editor of technical content could enable. We built a series of content initiatives to publish the rich knowledge laying dormant inside the organization, which flourished under this new editorial support.

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Content Management Using Jira

Quality content pipeline—as a service

As the first content engineering manager of core content and the developer relations site, I built the case for resources. In the meantime, a continuous-improvement mindset was critical for delivery. I set up content-as-a-service, and built up the content and the site, iterating through each product release.

  • Developed and managed a custom content management system in Jira, providing a content-as-a-service pipeline, while adhering to required engineering management practices
  • Assumed the role of engineering manager of Planet Labs Developers, a microsite developed using a static site generator, Pelican with Jinja2 templates and reStructuredText markup provided through Sphinx
  • Conducted editorial reviews in whatever format content producers felt comfortable (Google Docs, wikis, markdown, etc.). Final content was produced and approved through GitLab process and pipeline

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