Key points in this video

Why do developers need to learn API documentation?

  • Docs are important!
  • You can’t always pass the job on.
  • Every engineer is a writer. 
  • API documentation is like a manual for an appliance.

What it takes to produce good documentation

  • Prioritization—understanding why it’s needed.
  • Skill—having the ability to produce good content.
  • Empathy—being able to see things from others’ (consumers and maintainers) perspectives.
  • Processes—a well-thought-out plan.
  • Discipline—not trying to skip the process.

About this course

  • This isn’t a course on technical writing. We cover more than writing, so we won’t go into detail on writing.
  • You don’t have to be a developer, but you need to understand writing code/building software.
  • We’ll focus on web APIs (JSON over HTTP).
  • We’ll consider two perspectives: consumers (those who use the API) and maintainers (those who build the API).
  • We’ll look at APIs by both large and small companies.

How this course is structured

  • Three modules, with 3-5 lessons each.
  • Alongside each video, a "Key Points" section is provided for easy reference.
  • Each lesson is followed by a technical writing tip.
  • The first module will focus on the foundations—understanding the basic principles, looking at existing docs to learn what makes for good and bad docs, getting into the right mindset.
  • In the second module, we'll design documentation workflows for a couple of scenarios.
  • In the third module we'll go ahead to implement the workflow and actually create some good docs,

This course aims to show you the whys and hows for good docs, so you can form good opinions on documentation, and they can become a part of your dev lifestyle.

Surveys referenced in the video

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