Learning how developers think, and other API doc insights: Podcast with Joe Malin
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
- Applications for visual communication with code
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About Tom Johnson
I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.
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