API The Docs Podcast

Our guests talk about their insights and experience as documentarians. We bring advice from behind open and closed developer portals, ideas on what new learnings you can aim for, and recent experiments from the field of API documentation.
 

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When is no news good news for a scheduling platform? - Interview with DevRel Kristyn Bryan and Application Architect Dmitry Pashkevich from Calendly

03 June, 2022

We asked DevRel Kristyn Bryan and Application Architect Dmitry Pashkevich from the Calendly API team about the new, v2 of their API and the upgraded devportal. Why and how did they redesign the legacy API? They adopted a design-first approach to building APIs. How does this new strategy manifest in their daily jobs, what are they now doing differently? What are their teams' practices with customer feedback, and with internal mentoring?

Source code access, consistency: some ingredients of Adyen's API program

11 January, 2022

Interview with Ruby Batallones, Technical Writer at Adyen and Aleksei Akimov, Head of API at Adyen

Involve your technical writers already from the API design discussions: this can help ensure a consistent user experience across all APIs, and in finding the middle ground between the usability requirements and the architecture requirements.

At Adyen, technical writers have the ways and means to add and maintain the descriptions in the source code, they can make sure that all the bits and pieces are linked together and enough context is provided everywhere. This practice brought that techwriters habitually use the developer tools as well, and have a deeper technical understanding of the API, which in turn enables better communications earlier on.

The recently open sourced Adyen Explorer and documentation won 2 prizes at the 2019 DevPortal Awards: Best API Reference Documentation and Best Decision Maker Documentation.

Our guests are Ruby Batallones Technical Writer at Adyen, former solution architect and implementation engineer, and Aleksei Akimov, who started his career in software development, then added technical writing, was leading the Documentation & Developer Experience team and is now responsible for Adyen API design, strategy, and governance.

The hosts are Laura Vass (Editor of Developer Portals Newsletter, Co-Founder of Pronovix) and Anett Pozsár (Senior Technical Writer, Pronovix).

Confidence and Critical Thinking in Techwriting: Part 2

02 September, 2021

MongoDB is one of the most popular NoSQL database programs, providing both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. Tony works as a senior technical writer on cloud based tools. He has 20+ years experience in computer hardware, software, and services, specializing in data protection and user security, and he is a long-time supporter of API The Docs.

In this second part of the interview we continue our conversation:

  • Adoption of OpenAPI specification
  • How to save large amounts of documentation time?
  • How to keep the specifications up-to-date?
  • How to simplify API documentation?

The hosts are Laura Vass (Editor of Developer Portals Newsletter, Co-Founder of Pronovix) and Anett Pozsár (Senior Technical Writer, Pronovix).

Confidence and Critical Thinking part 1: techwriting is life-long learning - Interview with Anthony Sansone, Senior Technical Writer at MongoDB

18 August, 2021

Confidence and Critical Thinking: techwriting is life-long learning - Interview with Anthony Sansone, Senior Technical Writer at MongoDB

MongoDB is one of the most popular NoSQL database programs, providing both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. Tony works as a senior technical writer on cloud based tools. He has 20+ years experience in computer hardware, software, and services, specializing in data protection and user security, and he is a long-time supporter of API The Docs.

In this interview, Tony and the hosts are delving into the following topics:

  • How has the technical writing job market changed lately?
  • Speeding up complex onboarding and training of new technical writers at MongoDB
  • Embrace inquisitive juniors and help build confidence, keep open office hours

In Part 2, Episode 22, we continue our conversation:

  • Adoption of OpenAPI specification
  • How to save large amounts of documentation time?
  • How to keep the specifications up-to-date?
  • How to simplify API documentation?

The hosts are Laura Vass (Editor of Developer Portals Newsletter, Co-Founder of Pronovix) and Anett Pozsár (Senior Technical Writer, Pronovix).

Building a DevRel Team - Interview with Lorna Mitchell, Head of Developer Relations at Aiven

15 July, 2021

Building a DevRel Team - Interview with Lorna Mitchell, Head of Developer Relations at Aiven. 

Lorna is an open source software developer and project maintainer, published author, blogger and conference speaker, who is with us today to talk about the skills and roles that contribute to successfully operating a devrel team:

  • Priorities and structure when developing a new devrel team
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Involving a technical writer in the team
  • Career path, growth and collaboration in a devrel team
  • Insights of creating a new open source devportal
  • Aiven open source data tools and products
  • Maintenance of documentation and workflows

Sources:

Read more about Lorna’s work here: https://lornajane.net/
For job offerings at Aiven, please visit: https://aiven.io/careers
The hosts are Laura Vass (Editor of Developer Portals Newsletter, Co-Founder of Pronovix) and Anett Pozsár (Senior Technical Writer, Pronovix).

Feedback is the key! - Interview with Alex Hoffer, Developer Relations Engineer at Plaid

03 June, 2021

Alex Hoffer is a DevRel engineer at Plaid. Previously, she was managing the QA team at Dropbox for 6 years. At Plaid, she's been working on documentation and an overhaul of the Plaid developer docs. Developer experience is extremely important at Plaid and the docs are a big part of that. Tune in to hear more about how to create an excellent developer experience:

  • How does a cross-functional team work together with other departments in order to improve the developer functionality?
  • How developer experience is about product, documentation and engineering collaborating together?
  • What is her role in the API Review Committee, which helps ensure APIs are standardized and maintain their API style guide?
  • Docs revamp - how have they approached it, why have they done it, where is it going next?
  • How does the entire doc editing and authorship process work at Plaid?
  • And last but not least, how have they incorporated user feedback into the docs process!
  • The host is Laura Vass (Editor of Developer Portals Newsletter, Co-Founder of Pronovix).

Sources:

https://plaid.com/blog/new-plaid-docs/

plaid.com/careers