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Intro to API Documentation -- recording of presentation to STC Silicon Valley chapter on 11/20/2017

Nov 19, 2017 • api-doc, writing, podcasts, stitcher

I recently gave a presentation titled "Introduction to API Documentation" to the STC Silicon Valley chapter in Santa Clara, California. The video recording and audio are available here.




My slides are here:

Presentation details

To view more details about the API doc presentation, see the STC Silicon Valley event details: November 20, 2017: Introduction to API Documentation.

Here’s the presentation description:

Introduction to API Documentation

In Silicon Valley, there’s no greater demand for tech writers than with API documentation roles. This is primarily because, unlike traditional documentation around user interfaces, APIs are primarily marketed through their documentation. As such, the API documentation has a huge impact on the success and adoption of the API.

At its core, REST API documentation focuses on requests and responses. You describe the various endpoints available, their methods, parameters, and other details, and you also document sample responses from the endpoints. To test the endpoints, you often make sample requests using tools such as cURL and Postman.

In this presentation, you’ll learn what a REST API is, the 8 essential sections in endpoint reference documentation, and how to test and analyze API requests. You can find more details in my API documentation course here.

Note that this presentation is geared towards beginners, not advanced gurus who have worked on API doc projects for a number of years.

Also, I don’t cover any new material that isn’t already in my API documentation course. Specifically, I briefly cover these first 3 sections from my API doc course:

To learn more about the Silicon Valley chapter of the STC, see

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.