Learning how developers think, and other API doc insights: Podcast with Joe Malin
Length: 45 min.
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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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