Introducing Technical Content Strategist Esther Balta

March 01, 2024
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Introducing Technical Content Strategist Esther Balta

“No, you don’t understand. There are so many reasons why ‘Legally Blonde’ is better as a Broadway show than as a movie.” I whined to my friend as we slowly looked through a local antiques shop’s newest items that had been shipped in from overseas. “Ok, sure, the music is so funny and great BUT the sheer feat of what Elle Woods was able to accomplish by going to Harvard is almost a moot point in the movie- a means to an end, I guess. You don’t see what she had to put aside in order to take the LSAT or prepare her applications. The dedication she puts in gets captured so well- and only in one song! One! It’s just… you root for her so much more when you see all the obstacles she’s gone through and the moment of realization of how serious everything she did is despite the unrequited love that might have started it all.”

Elle Woods emerging from large breakable banner dressed in an elaborate sequined marching band outfit. Two women in cheerleading outfits stand to either side supporting the banner.

I pause to glance at a table now. My mind starts jogging. It’s no longer about musical numbers being used as a unique vehicle to move through major plot points, but the construction of the object before me.

“How?” I don’t mean to say it aloud, but it escapes my lips before I can help myself. My friend quirks a brow as she catches wind of it. I turn and gesture to the table. “How did people even learn how to make tables? To make anything, honestly? It’s crazy to think that at one time, tables didn’t exist. Someone, somewhere, had to create a table- to learn what materials worked best, how to craft each part and measure it out to be stable and usable. And then other people had to not only like them but create more of them as well for them to have persisted. It boggles my mind.” I breathe with honest admiration while smoothing a hand over the worn tabletop. “Furniture, food, clothing, software- people have created and continued to create so many wonderful things we can admire.”

Challenge builds adversity

During my college years, I might as well have said I grew a third eye to my foreign parents when I announced I was getting a degree in writing and also my desire to look into work as a technical writer. In hindsight, it did seem both ironic and humorous as so much of my young life was spent helping them do everything from filling out paperwork to explaining the basic jargon behind so many day to day tasks like sending emails.

Language, to them, was a necessity to live but nothing more. Studying a language you already knew—and knew very well—to work seemed like rewriting the book to them. It was hard for them to believe that explaining things to people could be a stable, let alone lucrative, field of work to consider. Why not simply become a developer if many of these roles were with software firms? Why grovel through tedious topics such as tone or punctuation for a quick or simple guide someone else could pen up without professional experience?

GIF image of Sesame Street's Ernie laughing that pans to Burt lowering a book and staring dead-pan into the camera

I had my reasons. If everyone assumed someone else would write these steps, would it actually be true? How much easier or harder would it be to do the tasks? There is beauty in simple and clear communication. Unfluffed, straight-to-the-point information that doesn’t treat you like either as an all-knowing guru or child for that matter builds knowledge and confidence. Because at the end of the day, you are the one accomplishing completing that task. You are the one gaining the information and skills necessary. The writing is simply a medium to get you there in as succinct a way as possible without the complication or frustration of trying to figure it all out on your own.

My family still doesn’t fully understand what I do even now, six years down the line. And that’s ok by me. Technical writing and strategy is a large, exciting field with so much to offer and so many people to help assist. While the writing I’ve produced has been known to be short and to the point, explaining all the scenarios and personas I have written for over six years is another thing entirely.

Everywhere, all at once.

Content Strategy feels like stepping into a sports event where you’re rooting for both teams to win. You want everyone to have the tools and experience they need to succeed.

Oprah Winfrey in a red suit surrounded by gold stars. She is shouting excitedly with her arms outstretched: "You get a gold star! You get a gold star! Everyone gets a gold star!!"

Over the years I’ve worked as a Content Strategist, I learned that it’s important to be able to see information from many different viewpoints at any time: As a company, what content can we create to help guide developers through the products we offer? As a developer, what specific information needs to be documented to maximize the utilization of the software? What are the expectations for baseline knowledge that can be built upon? How can that knowledge base continue to mature or a developer remain curious on the topics the content covers? As a writer, what forms of writing best fit the needs of the audience? Are we accurately providing clear and compelling content for their usage? How is the writing being used to help educate others on new and emerging topics?

It’s about being mindful of how to best assist everyone where they are at so they can continue to grow and create. I feel pride in my role as an advocate for knowledge. Every step of the way, I want to make sure my readers have the information they need to thrive and grow!

Feeling the magic

I’m so excited to be starting my journey here at Twilio. I’ve seen the magic this company has and will continue to produce across its portfolio of products. I’m so humbled and grateful to be able to be a part of that journey alongside so many other amazing and talented individuals on the Developer Network team. Here’s to a bright future of creating developer-centric content ahead!

GIF of Mulan hugging her friends after receiving the sword from the emperor.

Esther is a Technical Content Strategist with 6 years of documentation experience across a variety of software models and deployment types. Her main focus is customer education and enablement. She can be reached at ebalta [at]