Links from around the web
Technical Writers Fear AI and Many Want to Re-Skill, by Richard Macmanus. Macmanus thoughtfully reflects on the AI survey I conducted back in April. He says “it remains to be seen how technical writers fare in the age of generative AI, but clearly it’s already forcing them to re-evaluate their core skills.”
SmartBear’s API Development Hub Gets the Green Light with Stoplight. SmartBear has agreed to acquire Stoplight, an API design and documentation leader, including support for its renowned open-source tools: Spectral, Prism, and Elements. The acquisition aims to enhance the developer experience, emphasizing the necessity for seamless integration among development systems.
2023 API survey by Postman. This state of API report surveys 40,000 developers about API trends (pdf download here). Among many topics, what did they find about documentation? “When we asked about obstacles to consuming APIs, 52% of respondents said lack of documentation was the biggest problem.” Documentation tops the list of concerns by a wide margin. The Postman survey also includes findings about how developers are using AI. “Sixty percent of API professionals say they’re using generative AI in their job. More than half of those use AI tools to find bugs in their code, and over a third rely on AI to generate code a computer will understand.”
The Automation Paradox, by James Bessen. While many fear automation will lead to job loss, Bessen argues that automation often creates new roles or expands existing ones. For instance, even with legal tasks being automated, jobs for lawyers and paralegals have grown. Bessen says this is because lowering the cost of a service often increases use of the service. However, automation often changes the nature of the jobs and can sometimes shift the jobs from one role to another. Bessen writes, “The main effect of automation for the time being will not be to eliminate jobs, but to redefine them—changing the tasks and the skills needed to perform them. … There will be jobs, but workers will only be able to get them if they have the new sets of skills that computers make important. … For example, bank tellers have become more like marketing specialists, telling customers about bank loans, CDs, and other financial offerings.”
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, 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.