Guest post – So you want to learn about API documentation

This is a guest post from Jennifer Rondeau, a Technical Writing Manager at Capital One.

This is a post for beginners. Specifically, it’s a post for technical writers (regardless of specific job title) who want to learn more about API documentation, a realm traditionally separated from other forms of software documentation, and often made mysterious by folks who don’t use it or make it.

That I find this post necessary says quite a lot about the state of software documentation and the technical writers who produce much of it, but that’s a point I’ll explore in more detail another day. For the time being, I want to offer advice that’s meant to complement what other technical writers have said or written on the subject.


Thames Valley area group meeting – 3 May 2016

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 May at our old venue of the Bird in Hand, Knowle Hill, Reading from 19.30.

Robert Pallant will be sharing his knowledge on Agile project planning and scrums and all are welcome to attend.  You don’t need to be an ISTC member.

Please register your interest in attending via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/istc-thames-valley-area-group-meeting-tickets-24807171919

Photos – ISTC Members at MadWorld 2016

Here are some photographs of ISTC members and other British Technical Authors at MadCap Software’s MadWorld 2016 conference, which was held in April 2016 at the Hilton Mission Bay Spa and Resort San Diego.

Click on the photo below to access the album on flickr.

ISTC Members at MadWorld 2016

SW England area group meeting – Wednesday 13th April 2016

The next meeting of the SW England area group will be held on Wednesday 13th April 2016 at the George Inn, Bristol from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. Please head upstairs to “Abbot’s Retreat”.

The general topic for discussion this time is “Authoring tools”. Some ideas to get you thinking:

  • How would you go about choosing an authoring tool? How would your approach and requirements vary in different scenarios (e.g. as an employee, as a consultant or as a freelancer)?
  • What are the broad themes that define different classes of authoring tools (e.g. ‘help authoring tools’ like MadCap Flare, wikis like Confluence, content management systems like Drupal)?
  • To what extent do different ‘authoring tools’ overlap with collaboration, delivery/publishing and other related areas that are important to our work-flow? What might a holistic approach look like, and how can we steer towards it?

All are welcome and if you would like to attend please register your interest here via Eventbrite.

The organiser for this event is Eric Weston who may be contacted by email: southwest_areagroup@istc.org.uk

Lean and Agile documentation – ISTC Southern Area Meeting, 7pm Tuesday 17th May 2016, Guildford

The next meeting of the Southern Area Group will be on Tuesday 17th May 2016 at The Keep, 29 Castle Street, Guildford, GU1 3UW from 7pm. Ellis Pratt will speak on Technical Writing in Lean and Agile environments. He’ll explain how to rise to the challenge of writing user documentation in an Agile environment and how Lean and Agile could be used to manage writing projects.

We’ll be there from 7pm, and Ellis’s talk will start around 7.30pm. Afterwards there will be the usual opportunity for questions, for serious discussion, or light hearted chat, depending on your mood and inclination.

The event is free, and is open to ISTC members or non-members, so tell your friends and colleagues! But if you are planning to come, please register on Eventbrite here so we can let the venue know how much space to reserve for us and how many people are likely to want to order food.

Parking is available in the Tunsgate Multi Storey right next door to The Keep, or the Sydenham Road Multi Storey about 250 yards away, but be aware that some roads in the area are one-way streets, so check your directions carefully!

The organiser for this event is Marjorie Jones who may be contacted by email: southernengland_areagroup@istc.org.uk

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