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Intro to API Documentation -- recording of presentation to STC Silicon Valley chapter on 11/20/2017

by Tom Johnson on Nov 19, 2017
categories: api-doc writingpodcasts

I recently gave a presentation titled "Introduction to API Documentation" to the STC Silicon Valley chapter in Santa Clara, California. The video recording and audio are available here.



Listen here:


My slides are here:

Presentation details

To view more details about the API doc presentation, see the STC Silicon Valley event details: November 20, 2017: Introduction to API Documentation.

Here’s the presentation description:

Introduction to API Documentation

In Silicon Valley, there’s no greater demand for tech writers than with API documentation roles. This is primarily because, unlike traditional documentation around user interfaces, APIs are primarily marketed through their documentation. As such, the API documentation has a huge impact on the success and adoption of the API.

At its core, REST API documentation focuses on requests and responses. You describe the various endpoints available, their methods, parameters, and other details, and you also document sample responses from the endpoints. To test the endpoints, you often make sample requests using tools such as cURL and Postman.

In this presentation, you’ll learn what a REST API is, the 8 essential sections in endpoint reference documentation, and how to test and analyze API requests. You can find more details in my API documentation course here.

Note that this presentation is geared towards beginners, not advanced gurus who have worked on API doc projects for a number of years.

Also, I don’t cover any new material that isn’t already in my API documentation course. Specifically, I briefly cover these first 3 sections from my API doc course:

To learn more about the Silicon Valley chapter of the STC, see

About Tom Johnson

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.

If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the tech comm, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.