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Coffee Chat recording: Ask Me Anything about Managing API documentation projects

by Tom Johnson on Jan 8, 2024
categories: api-doc

I recently participated in a Coffee and Content chat titled 'Ask Me Anything: Managing API Documenation Projects', with Patrick Bosek and Scott Abel, sponsored by Heretto. This was an 'Ask me anything' style chat, though the audience could only participate through chat on Brighttalk's platform. The coffee chat took place on Thursday, Jan 11, 2024.

You can view the recording here:

Ask Me Anything: Managing API Documenation Projects

The topic was pretty open-ended. Here are a few of the topics that came up:

  • The tech writer is pulled in too late into the release cycle.
  • Bug reports lack detail to be actionable.
  • Engineers are confused about the tech writer role.
  • Tech writers prioritize projects based on whoever is shouting the loudest for docs.
  • Engineers are slow to review docs, dragging out timelines.
  • Attention focuses only on documenting the latest features, not maintaining existing content.
  • The tech writer discovers confusing API behavior too late to influence the product design.
  • No time to test pre-release products—setup too hard.
  • Dividing tasks among multiple writers for the same project is too difficult.
  • Complex release cycles and processes are opaque.

For more information, see all the links in my Processes and methodology section in my API course:

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.

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