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Lessons learned as a novice API technical writer -- Interview with Mary Linderman (podcast)

Jun 8, 2014 • api-doc, podcasts

Lessons learned as a novice API technical writer, a podcast with Mary Linderman

Length: 30 min.

Download MP3 (right-click and select Save As)

In this podcast, I talk with Mary Linderman, a technical writer in Chicago who has been doing API documentation for the past couple of years, about her experiences in the API documentation space. Mary recently wrote an article called "Lessons learned from a novice API writer" for an upcoming issue of STC Intercom that I'm editing, and I wanted to record a podcast with her to capture some of her thoughts.

In this podcast, we cover the following:

  • How to get involved in doing API documentation
  • Background needed to do API documentation
  • The need to play with an API in order to learn it
  • Generating documentation from source code comments in Sandcastle
  • How to build rapport with engineers when writing API documentation
  • The importance of understanding programming terms and concepts
  • Getting trust from engineers to write directly in engineering source code
  • Managing and publishing other developer documentation outside of API reference material
  • Distinguishing good code samples from bad ones when engineers give you code
  • Continuing learning to keep up on programming knowledge

If you'd like to contact Mary, you can email her at linderman.mary at gmail.com.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.