Follow-up on yesterday’s talk about API technical writing
Yesterday I was privileged and delighted to speak at a meeting of the STC Silicon Valley Chapter in Santa Clara. Thanks so much to Tom Johnson and David Hovey for organising the meeting, and thank you too to all the attendees. It was a lovely experience, with a warm, enthusiastic and inspiring audience. This post includes some links for people who’d like to continue playing with the APIs we saw last night and delving deeper into the world of API documentation.
The presentation is on SlideShare: API Technical Writing: What, Why and How. (Note that last night’s presentation didn’t include slide 51.) The slides include a number of links to further information.
The presentation is a technical writer’s introduction to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and to the world of API documentation. I hope it’s useful to writers who’ve had very little exposure to APIs, as well as to those who’ve played with APIs a bit and want to learn about the life of an API technical writer.
Here’s a summary of the presentation:
- Introduction to the role of API technical writer.
- Overview of the types of developer products we may be asked to document, including APIs (application programming interfaces), SDKs (software development kits), and other developer frameworks.
- What an API is and who uses them.
- A day in the life of an API technical writer—what we do, in detail.
- Examples of good and popular API documentation.
- The components of API documentation.
- Useful tools.
- How to become an API tech writer—tips on getting started.
Demo of the Flickr API
During the session, I did a live demo of the Flickr API. If you’d like to play with this API yourself, take a look at the Flickr Developer Guide (and later the Flickr API reference documentation). You’ll need a Flickr API key, which is quick and easy to get. Slide 23 in my presentation shows the URL for a simple request to the Flickr API.
There are more links to follow in the presentation itself: API Technical Writing: What, Why and How. I hope you enjoy playing with some APIs and learning about the life of an API technical writer!
Posted on 26 August 2014, in APIs, STC, technical writing and tagged API documentation, api technical writing, STC, technical communication, technical documentation, technical writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.