Seattle workshop on API Technical Writing

Will you be in Seattle on Friday, October 23rd? Join me and the Puget Sound Chapter of the STC for a full-day workshop on API technical writing. It’s free, and there’s free food too. 🙂 Join me and other Google tech writers in a day of API doc lectures and hands-on sessions.

Anyone interested in learning about API technical writing is welcome to attend – you don’t need to be a member of the STC.

Quick links: Register to attend, and learn more on the STC Puget Sound site.

What is API technical writing?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Developers use APIs to make apps that communicate with other apps and software/hardware components. API technical writers create documentation and other content that helps developers hook their apps up to someone else’s API.

For a tech writer, it’s an exciting, challenging and rewarding field. I love it!

This workshop gives you hands-on experience with APIs and API documentation, insight into the demands of the role, and plenty of information for your own follow-up study.

Workshop details

Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2015
Time: 9am to 4pm – breakfast and setup are at 9am, for a start at 9:30 sharp
Instructor: Sarah Maddox  – that’s me 😉
Cost: None. The workshop is given free of charge.
Location: Google Offices, 601 N 34th Street, Seattle, WA 98103. (Link on Google Maps.)

This is a practical course on API technical writing, consisting of lectures interspersed with hands-on sessions where you’ll apply what you’ve learned. The focus is on APIs themselves as well as on documentation, since we need to be able to understand and use a product before we can document it.

The workshop includes the following sessions:

  • Lecture: Introduction to APIs, including a demo of some REST and JavaScript APIs.
  • Hands-on: Play with a REST API.
  • Lecture: JavaScript essentials.
  • Hands-on: Play with a JavaScript API.
  • Lecture: The components of API documentation and other developer aids.
  • Hands-on: Generate reference documentation using Javadoc.
  • Lecture: Beyond Javadoc – other doc generation tools.
  • Lecture: Working with an engineering team

Preparation for the workshop

Please take a look at the prerequisites and setup to see what you need to install on your laptop before the workshop. Doing the recommended installations will save you a lot of time at the workshop so that you can avoid missing crucial bits when you’re there.

Meet Google tech writers

There’ll be some Google tech writers at the workshop, assisting with any difficulties during the hands-on sessions. I’m hoping a couple of them will present some of the lectures too.

Hope to see you there!

Here’s that signup link on Eventbrite. I hope to see you there!

Slide from lecture – working with an engineering team:

Working with an Engineering Team

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 30 August 2015, in STC, workshops and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hi Sarah,

    I tuned in to your Introduction to API Technical Writing webinar for TechComm NZ and I found it fascinating! I’ve never gravitated towards programming or mark-up languages before because I didn’t think I’d ever want to become a programmer per say.

    While I’m enjoying creating a lot of manuals, templates and training material (primarily in Word and PowerPoint), I want to expand my skillset. What I’m doing feels 2D at the moment and I’d like to be a more 3D professional…I hope that made sense.

    I like the balance of technical matter and user focus in API technical writing but was wondering how niche an area it is?

    I was looking at courses online and came across this one which seemed like a good introductory course:

    What are your thoughts? Do you have any other recommendations?

    On a side note, the TCWorld conference in India looks exciting! Bangalore is a beautiful place to explore.


    • Hallo Shamili

      Great comment! Yes, I recommend Peter Gruenbaum’s course on API tech writing. He’s a skilled and knowledgable writer.

      API tech writing is a niche, as you’ve suggested – and becoming skilled in a niche can be a very good thing, if those skills are in high demand. At the moment, API tech writing skills are highly valued, and the demand is still rising. It’s always good, though, to keep investigating other areas too, even while gainfully employed as a tech writer in APIs or any other field.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the TechCommNZ webinar. I’ve had discussions with TechCommNZ about potentially running a full-day API workshop in New Zealand – it’s still under consideration, depending on demand.


  2. Hi Sarah,
    I would love to go to Puget Sound in October but alas it is not in the cards. Any plans to teach an API class in the Denver area any time soon?

    • Hallo Jeana
      That’s an interesting idea. How close are you to Boulder? There aren’t any plans right now, but I’ll add the Denver/Boulder area to the list of places to consider.
      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  3. Hello Sarah, its really interesting to come across a wonderful knowledgeable post. Before I was not much aware of the fact but now it seems really interesting. Thanks for this..

  1. Pingback: Inviting Seattle tech comm students to speed networking and workshop | ffeathers

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