In this podcast, I talk with Joe Malin about a variety of topics within API documentation, including how developers think, best practices, and more. Joe is a former software engineer who turned to technical writing many years ago. He has worked at a variety of companies in API documentation roles, including 7 years at Google.
Here are a few of the topics we cover in the podcast:
Why Joe turned from software programming to writing
What kind of API documentation he is currently working on
Best practices for API documentation
The brilliance of REST APIs as a means of interchanging information
Whether REST API doc is easier than platform-API doc
How much programming a person needs to know to do API documentation, particularly Javadoc
How developers think, and other insights gained from learning programming
Benefits of using Github and other source control repositories to share documentation
His response to someone who says, "Well if I could write code, I would be a programmer instead of a technical writer."
Contributions tech writers can make with code samples, including style guides for code
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About 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.