Coffee Chat: Ask Me Anything about Managing API documentation projects
Update: The event has already taken place. You can view the recording here:
The topic is pretty open-ended, but I’m hoping we can chat about some of these challenges that often come up when managing API documentation projects. For example:
- 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.
All the links in my Processes and methodology section in my API course could be relevant:
- Following agile scrum with documentation projects
- Managing large documentation projects
- Managing small documentation requests
- Managing SDK releases
- Documentation kickoff meetings and product demos
- Processes for reviewing documentation
- Maintaining existing documentation
- Collecting feedback post-release
- Managing content from external contributors
- Changing internal doc culture
- Sending doc status reports – a tool for visibility and relationship building
- Broadcasting your meeting notes to influence a wider audience
- Ensuring documentation coverage with each software release
- DX content strategy with developer portals
The episode will be recorded for later playback.
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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