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Introduction to API documentation: Interview with Scot Marvin

by Tom Johnson on Jun 16, 2014 •
categories: api-docpodcasts

Intro to API documentation, a podcast with Scot Marvin

Length: 30 min.

Download MP3 (right-click and select Save As)

In this podcast, I talk with Scot Marvin, an API technical writer based in Oregon, about some introductory topics with API documentation. Topics covered in the podcast include the following:

  • The prevalence of APIs 15 years ago compared to today
  • The definition of an API
  • What technical writers are responsible to document with APIs
  • Where technical writers get information about the requests, parameters, and other technical details with APIs
  • Whether technical writers get info from the API code or from other sources, such as specs
  • The difference between reading versus writing code
  • Documentation beyond the reference API that tech writers create
  • The difference between an SDK and API
  • Some paths people take that lead them to doing API documentation
  • Whether tech writers are at a disadvantage without a dev background when creating API doc
  • What format the response of an API usually delivered in (JSON, XML)
  • How a REST API differs from a Java API
  • How does SOAP differ from REST
  • Examples of some good sample API doc sites, and why
  • The amount of continual study and learning needed to thrive in API doc space

For more information about Scott, see his Twitter handle scotmarvin or his website

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