My slide links and presentation descriptions at the 2019 STC Summit
API Documentation Workshop
Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Mineral D
In this all-day workshop, you’ll learn about API documentation in the context of using a simple weather API—making requests and analyzing the responses. We’ll cover the essential elements of API reference topics, how OpenAPI specification and Swagger work, expected non-reference topics, version control workflows, and more. If you’re starting to document a REST API, this workshop will get you up and running in the right direction. You’ll leave with a solid grasp of the necessary components of REST API documentation as well as how to deliver an interactive learning experience that developers want.
Post-Summit Note: Although I didn’t record this workshop, you can find previous workshop recordings here.
Tech Comm Trends: Providing Value as a Generalist in a Sea of Specialists
Date: Monday, May 6, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Granite A-C
Trends in technical communication can be hard to decipher, even when looking at data. But one underlying trend is that technology seems to be getting more specialized and complex. This trend toward specialization is driving up the value of technical knowledge, making it more prized than writing skills. To handle the complexity, technical writers may find that they are playing increasingly collaborative roles with engineers to create the needed documentation. To drive up their value in organizations, technical writers should look for ways to collaborate more skillfully with engineers in creating content.
Post-Summit Note: I didn’t record this presentation, but I’m giving a similar presentation at the STC Puget Sound Chapter on May 21. I’ll record that one.
Introduction to API Documentation
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Track: Tools & Technologies Location: Granite A-C
Technical writers who can document application programming interfaces (APIs) are in high demand. Documentation is critical for an API to be successful in the marketplace. This presentation is for writers who want to learn more about APIs, or want to break into the field of API documentation. This talk provides an introduction to REST API documentation. You will learn what a REST API is and the components of an API. You will learn some of the basics of what API writers need to know, including the eight essential sections in REST API endpoint reference documentation, and how to test and analyze API requests and responses.
Post-Summit Note: I recorded this presentation using the on-board mic on my laptop, and STC let me post it. The sound in the recording isn’t great, but if you’re interested, the video is available here. In this introductory presentation, I explore Sendgrid as a good example of API docs.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer 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 simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. 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. You can also learn more about me or contact me.