July 27, 2006 STC Documenting APIs

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Documenting APIs: Your First Week on the Job
By James F. Bisso, Chief Technology Officer, Bitzone LLC

The long cold nuclear winter in Silicon Valley is more than over.

On a hot summer night, James Bisso drew the biggest crowd so far this year at the monthly STC meeting. I figured it was the middle of a summer heat wave and attendance would be light. The crowd was so big they brought in more chairs. Not only were there people wanting to know how to create APIs, there were recruiters wanting to hire people with API experience, notably eBay and Synergistech. I take all of this as a very good sign.

Bisso is well into his second decade of writing APIs. He trains people through his company Bitzone and works as a staff software engineer at Sun Microsystems. He is also co-author of Documenting APIs: Writing Developer Documentation for Javaâ„¢ APIs and SDKs.

Many technical writers are not crazy about creating APIs, but they pay the rent. With a recovery in full swing and programmers writing code again, the need to keep track of it is back.

Bisso talked about getting started, defining the audience, the domain knowledge, the company’s vision, and the deliverables. You will have to research the API before interviewing the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Asking the right questions will get you the right answer.

DJ Cline
Copyright 2006

One thought on “July 27, 2006 STC Documenting APIs”

  1. So, here’s a scenario: GE’s STK upsets ATTs API and prevents TCQ, is that a BFD? Are you SOL? Hard questions for EOB.

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