Episode 53

Tribal Knowledge and Onboarding with Annie Sexton


January 16th, 2019

36 mins 49 secs

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About this Episode

Tribal Knowledge and On-boarding with Annie Sexton

TableXI offers training for developers and product teams! For more info, email workshops@tablexi.com.


Annie Sexton: Core Support Engineer at Heroku. Traveler. Amateur graphic novelist. More at momotarocomic.com/.


Developers and teams build up a lot of knowledge about their code and their process which never gets written down and which makes it harder together to get new team members up to speed. Our guest, Annie Sexton, is a support engineer for Heroku and has to deal with not only Heroku’s vast amount of knowledge, but also the unwritten information of many of her support customers. We’ll talk about the practical things Annie recommends to help make this knowledge explicit, and how your team can improve its group memory and team on-boarding. We’d also like to hear from you. Is there something your team has done to write down the things everybody knows? Let us know at http://techdoneright.io/53 or on Twitter at @tech_done_right.


01:51 - Why Tribal Knowledge is a Bad Thing

04:50 - Legacy Code

06:38 - Capturing Tribal Knowledge

12:55 - Keeping Things Up-To-Date

15:57 - When the “Why” and the “Overview” Get Lost

17:49 - Becoming Immune to Complexity

20:39 - Tools for Documentation

28:50 - Convincing Others that Documentation is Important

33:31 - Planning for Succession

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