Lessons learned as a novice API technical writer -- Interview with Mary Linderman (podcast)
Length: 30 min.
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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
I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.