API documentation survey overview

In December 2014, I published an informal survey to gather some basic information about API documentation practices. I used an open, short-answer style with 10 questions listed in a Google doc. About 43 people participated, though not everyone responded to every question.

If I were doing this survey again, I would clarify some of my questions. Still, the responses were valuable and painted a good picture of how API tech writers author and produce content.

Here are the 10 questions. In a series of blog posts, I elaborated on the meaning of the responses at length. For brevity here, I've included only the screenshots of the responses.

What types of APIs do you document?
What types of APIs do you document?
What programming languages do you know?
What programming languages do you know?
What authoring tool/syntax do you use?
What programming languages do you know?
Do you create API doc by looking at source code?
Do you create API doc by looking at source code?
Do you test out the API calls used in your doc yourself?
Do you test out the API calls used in your doc yourself?
What IDE do you use?
What IDE do you use?
Are API docs auto-rendered through build process?
Are API docs auto-rendered through build process?
How do you get the source files that contain code comments?
How do you get the source files that contain code comments?
How to learn what you need to know?
How to learn what you need to know?
What aspect of API doc do you find most challenging?
What aspect of API doc do you find most challenging?
Do engineers write API doc in the source code?
Do engineers write API doc in the source code?
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