Community Member Monday: Dione Maddern, LibreOffice docs team

Dione Maddern

Today we’re talking to Dione Maddern, who helps out in LibreOffice’s documentation team…

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m 44. Originally from Brisbane, Australia but I currently live in Baltimore, on the East Coast of the USA. I’ve worked in a variety of administration, document production roles in the engineering and insurance industries.

Most of my technical writing experience has been writing procedures, instructions, and other documentation for Health Safety Environment and Quality (HSEQ) systems. This is my first software project.

In my spare time, I like to bake, draw, and play video games and tabletop RPGs.

What are you doing in the LibreOffice community at the moment?

I’m working on the Offline Help (F1) function of LibreOffice, fixing broken links and updating instructions and terminology.

How did you join the community, and what was it like?

I saw the banner on the user guide page asking for volunteers to work on Documentation Team. I’d been looking for a volunteer opportunity where I could use my skills in document production for a while and this seemed perfect. So I followed the link and posted my bio on the Documentation forum.

Banner to join the Docs team

I felt a bit daunted at first because a lot people had more experience than me, or were from a software development background. Everyone has been very welcoming and I feel like I’ve been able to make a contribution to the project. I’ve learned a lot too, including a crash course in XML and Gerrit.

What advice would you give to others who want to join the documentation team?

Dive in! It can seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s easier to get started than you think.

Thanks so much to Dione for all the help! Indeed, everyone is welcome to dive in, help out, and pick up valuable experience along the way. Who knows – perhaps it could lead to a career in technical writing…