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Writing complete APIs

July 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

About the presentation:

Web applications, particularly those using REST, have taken off in the last ten years. This explosion has created a demand for API documentation writers, who have come to rely on automated documentation systems (such as Swagger, Sand Castle, and Visual Studio’s Summary XML tags).

While easy to use, these systems form only part of an API suite: relying solely on automation will leave important and noticeable gaps in the user information set.

This session puts API documentation in the proper perspective. We start at a high level and drill down.

The topics covered:

• What an API and an API documentation suite is
• The relationships between the writer, developer, and reader
• The importance of understanding programming and coding
• What an SDK is, and its relationship to an API
• The parts of an API
• The methods description page
• Automated tools and how they can make your API documentation suite better or worse

You don’t need programming or scripting experience although those with familiarity may benefit the most.

– 2017 STC Tech Comm Summit program

About the speaker:


Lead API Writer
Chicago, IL

   Robert Delwood is a programmer, writer, and programmer-writer currently in the    Chicago law community but formerly with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He’s      passionate about technical writing, procedural, conceptual, and for API                  documentation. With more than 18 years experience, he’s written and about          documented topics from Windows kernel-level device drivers and speech recognition APIs/SDKs for Microsoft, to help desk procedures and application manuals for the military, and wargaming and hobby games such as Advanced Squad Leader.

He specializes in Microsoft Office automation with VB/VBA and .NET VSTO. Automation can be used by every writing team, and often they have a clear cut need for it but just don’t recognize it as such. He’s authored two books, most recently a college-level text book, “The Secret Life of Word,” (XML Press, http://xmlpress.net/publications/word-secrets/) about Word’s automation for technical writers, non-programmers, knowledge workers, or anyone who wants to do more things quickly with Word. The other is “Introducing Microsoft Kokanee” (Microsoft Press) about Microsoft speech recognition. He also lists over 20 magazine and trade journal articles.

One of his interests is as an amateur thermodynamic engineer, working with Engineers Without Borders. This was for a passive cooking system (such as solar ovens), trying to use Houston’s oppressive heat and sunlight for something good.


July 19
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


STC Eastern Ontario