15:10-15:40 / Ken Davies - Big things come in small packages: API information in release notes

n this talk, I will explain what the release note is. I intend to give a real life comparison, such as a restaurant menu and that clients are like customers in a release. I will explain that the release note is of value to both business and technical people alike. A release note can help with a company’s marketing strategy, can persuade customers that an upgrade is worth it for their revenues, and provide reassurance that their bugs have been fixed. Technical people can also use release notes to test their systems.

API changes can include new request and response structures, elements, and under-the-hood changes that help with performance. All of these can be described in a release note. As a technical writer, regardless of the amount of technical background you have, you can provide value as you interface between business and technology. However, these are the challenges:

  • There is often noise where getting reliable source information is difficult
  • Learning curve can be steep.
  • Time is scarce
  • API developer relations requires care

However, technical authors are best geared for it because: - They want to communicate with clarity - They are able to write for multiple audiences - They understand about minimum viable documentation and delivering “just enough information” - They understand about priorities

I want to share my experience of producing SOAP documentation release notes and how it became fun!