One-day Conference about API Documentation and Developer Portals

API The Docs is an event for tech writers, API developers, product owners and developer evangelists who embrace documentation as a crucial aspect of a great developer experience. The conference is a great opportunity to share and discuss the latest best practices, strategies and new trends relevant to API documentation and developer portals!

What's New

The first ever API The Docs conference in the USA is organized in the prestigious American Writers Museum, located on the second floor of a Michigan Avenue office building. The museum is just a few steps from Millennium Park and other cultural attractions, and it's close to a number of Chicago's major hotels. It's a cultural gem - the colorful, interactive space provides a unique event atmosphere!

CFP and Speaker Selection

CFP opens on 10th January and closes on 10th February. API The Docs Chicago welcomes submissions related to portal technologies, showcases and strategies; API specification languages; API design and developer experience; developer portal features, components and products, etc. The Speaker Selection Committee reviews submissions based on relevance, originality and quality and they announce Speakers by 1 March.

We're happy to announce that Margaret Eker, Laura Vass, Mike Jang and Bob Watson confirmed to form the Committee!

Hotel Info

Never been to Chicago before? No problem! API The Docs Chicago reserved a block at Hotel Julian****, downtown Chicago's newest lifestyle hotel next to the conference venue. Make your booking for 189 USD / night by contacting Reservations directly (877) 765-0925 or via this link by March 6, 2019.  To get this exceptional rate, identify yourself as a member of API The Docs. All reservations must be guaranteed and accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a credit card.

Code of Conduct

API The Docs Chicago follows the ground rules of the Write The Docs community: be friendly, be respectful, be careful in the words that you choose. If you need to report any issue for a reason, please contact All reports will be kept confidential.



Allen Dean profile img
Case Study: Integration and automation create delightful API docs
Shy Ruparel profile img
Write your Docs like nobody reads them
Amy Negrette profile img
Gateways to Gateways: API Development in the Cloud
Darren Shelcusky profile img
From Zero To Sixty:Driving A DocOps Based Approach To APIs At Ford Motor Company
Jessica Parsons profile img
Sauntering Beyond Swagger with Open Source Tools
Karen White profile img
(Re)designing a Developer Portal that Your Developers will Want to Use
Robert Delwood profile img
Making Great Documentation: Seven Steps That Go Beyond Autogeneration
Amara Graham profile img
One Size Still Doesn't Fit All
Bob Watson profile img
The Inverted Funnel of Developer Documentation
Jenny Wanger profile img
The UX of DX: User Testing in the Invisible World of APIs
Anthony Sansone profile img
Documenting a Closed System
Monika Alfoldi-Zorgo profile img
Devportal Information Architecture: a 4-step method
Katalin Nagygyorgy profile img
Devportal Information Architecture: a 4-step method


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Write The Docs Chicago logo
in collaboration with the Write The Docs Chicago meetup group


08:00-09:00 / Registration & welcome coffee break
09:00-09:15 / Welcome by Kristof Van Tomme & Anthony Sansone
Overview of API The Docs: past, present, future
09:15-09:45 / Karen White: (Re)designing a Developer Portal that your developers will want to use
Your Developer Portal is the primary interface that developers will have with your company’s product. So what does your developer portal say about you? We’ll share what we’ve learned at BigCommerce about redesigning a developer portal that helps your developers–and your company–meet their goals.
09:45-10:15 / Katalin Nagygyörgy, Mónika Alföldi-Zörgő: Devportal Information Architecture: a 4-step method
What information is essential for a devportal? How should it be structured? I’ll introduce a 4-step Information Architecture method. It focuses on the users (not just “developers”), the business strategy and the technical requirements and creates a roadmap that takes a team to and beyond their MVP.
10:15-10:45 / Darren Shelcusky: From Zero To Sixty: Driving A DocOps Based Approach To APIs At Ford Motor Company
How does a 115 year old automaker transform into a Mobility company? Platform Enablement! The session take a look under the hood at Ford and will highlight Ford’s ongoing journey into building and cultivating a DocOps and developer centric approach to APIs.
10:45-11:00 / Coffee break
11:00-11:30 / Robert Delwood: Making Great Documentation: Seven Steps That Go Beyond Autogeneration
Automation has seemingly made API documentation easy. But automation alone can’t create great documents. That requires extra steps. Seven extra steps as it turns out. I will explain what many writers overlook, goals of great documents, and how making outstanding developer experiences get you that.
11:30-12:00 / Amara Graham: One Size Still Doesn't Fit All
Not all developers have the same needs, so why do we often expect them to read the same documentation and the same code snippets and get the same value out of it? Learn how Amara took content geared towards an Enterprise developer audience and made it more welcoming to the game dev community.
12:00-12:30 / Jenny Wanger: The UX of DX: User Testing in the Invisible World of APIs
As anyone who has tried to call certain endpoints knows, being RESTful isn’t the only requirement to making your API product easy to use. Developers are people too and as DX experts we owe them the same UX testing we do with our front-end products.
12:30-13:30 / Lunch break @ the American Writers Museum
Classic sandwich lunch with cookie and chips.
13:30-14:00 / Jessica Parsons: Sauntering Beyond Swagger with Open Source Tools
The OpenAPI spec is powerful for generating docs from code, but how do you choose the tools to work with it? Learn how our team moved from a standard Swagger UI to a pipeline of open source tools that allows writers and developers to build great docs together while working in the tools they prefer.
14:00-14:30 / Jenifer Schlotfeldt, Allen Dean: Case Study: Integration and automation create delightful API docs
There’s more to your API docs than Curl. Sync your non-reference content. Include request examples. Generate SDK docs from the OpenAPI definition. Want to know how we did it?
14:30-14:45 / Coffee break
14:45-15:15 / Anthony Sansone: Documenting a Closed System
Documenting an always on, always available web API has its share of difficulties. Imagine how much the difficulty increases when you cannot test the API. How do you explain to your audience how to use your API when you cannot access it yourself? Let's learn from MongoDB's experience in documenting the API to a closed system.
15:15-15:45 / Shy Ruparel: Write your Docs like nobody reads them
The dirty secret of docs is that it’s rare for folks to actually sit down and read the manual. Devs engage with our docs via search, support, and stack overflow. I’ll share strategies for creating paths to our docs and how we make it easy for users to efficiently navigate our docs once they arrive.
15:45-16:00 / Coffee break
16:00-16:30 / Amy Arambulo Negrette: Gateways to Gateways: API Development in the Cloud
Treating APIs as a product can be the business case you need to push your application to the cloud. The Big Four can stand up legacy and new API implementations with low friction. This talk will show how to build APIs in the Cloud, how it ties into IaaS, and the infamous Netflix API Gateway Model.
16:30-17:00 / Bob Watson, PhD: The Inverted Funnel of Developer Documentation
Your customers’ success depends not just o running Hello World, but using your API in a complete app to accomplish a business goal. Getting started is definitely important, but it’s just the first step towards the customers’ ultimate goal: getting finished! Let me help you help them finish!
17:00-17:30 / Wrap-up by Anthony Sansone & Kristof Van Tomme


180 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601 USA


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