Text Size

API and SDKs Work Shop

APIs and SDKs: Breaking Into and Succeeding in a Specialty Market with Ed Marshall

North Texas Lone Star Chapter STC 

Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)  

Plano, TX


Want to increase your technical communicator pay by 30 to 40%? You can by documenting application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). In this hands-on, full-day workshop, Ed Marshall gives you the tools to break into this growing specialty market.

$140 for STC Members
$175 for Nonmembers

Workshop Goals

  • Learn what APIs and SDKs are, who uses them, and why
  • Learn what typical documentation deliverables are for these products
  • Learn a common methodology for producing documentation for APIs/SDKs from the source code, a single source of truth
  • Be able to describe why this approach is preferred by many developers
  • Practice using a common tool for producing documentation from the source code, Javadoc
  • Learn about Web Services APIs


Discussion of APIs and SDKs

  • What are APIs and SDKs? How are these similar and different?
  • Who uses APIs and SDKs?
  • What are the typical documentation deliverables? What information should you provide to users?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks to working in this area for technical writers?
  • How much do you have to read software code? What information can you get from the code and what can't you get from the code?



Javadoc Discussion, Demo, and Hands-on Exercises

You will complete these tasks:

  • Inserting typical reference information into the source files, generating the online help, and viewing the output
  • Inserting conceptual information into the source files, generating the online help, and viewing the output


The popularity of cloud computing is stronger than ever. By 2017, the cloud computing industry is expected to grow to a $240 billion industry. Yes, that's 'b' as in 'billion'! It’s triple the earnings of only four years ago, when earnings were $77 billion.* With this increased demand comes the need for skilled technical communicators who can document Web Services, the methods used to communicate between two devices on the Web. However, few writers have the required skills.

  • Learn recommended sources of training to get the skills needed for this area
  • Create two API samples that you can show to potential clients or employers


Web Services APIs Discussion and Hands-on Exercises

  • How Web Services are used to solve business problems
  • Examples of Web Services being used and developed by widely known companies
  • The common components of Web Services
  • The current trends for using Web Services and why this is an important area for technical communicators

You will complete this task in the Web Services hands-on exercises:

  • Create Web Services documentation by extracting relevant, useful reference information from a REST API specification into a supplied Microsoft Word template.

* Source: Kim, Gary. “How Big Will Cloud Computing Revenues Be in 2016?” TCMNet, December 19, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2015, from http://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/246856-how-big-will-cloud-computing-revenues-be-2016.htm.


Registration Includes a Free Pass to the NTLSC October Meeting! 

Ed will be our guest speaker the following Monday, October 26th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CDT at Sweet Basil Italian Restaurant in Dallas! Learn about Peer Editing and Proofreading for the Sole Writer. We need to give the restaurant a head count, so please register through this link if you plan to attend: http://peereditingandproofreading.eventbrite.com


Frequently Asked Questions 

What equipment do I need?
Bring a laptop that allows you to install software. Many corporate IT departments block the software installation features on their employees' computers. You must have administrative privileges on your laptop to install some software. The programs will be provided to you on a thumb drive.

The software used in this class runs on Windows. If you are bringing a Mac, you need to have a Windows emulator installed ahead of time and be comfortable managing the emulator.

I'm traveling from out of town. Where should I stay?
We've arranged a special group rate at the Marriot TownePlace Suites Dallas Plano for $89 per night. Book your group rate for N. Tx Lone Star STC Workshop online or call the hotel directly at 972-943-8200 before October 10th. The group rate is not guaranteed after this date.

Will there be food?
Your registration includes a continental breakfast, catered lunch, plus bagels and refreshments throughout the day.

Where do I park?
You will receive an email before the event with the location of the workshop, a map, and specific directions to the parking lot and classroom. Parking is free.

 Ed Marshall


Ed Marshall has over 26 years of experience producing online help, printed documentation, and Web documentation for highly technical products. He is the founder of Marshall Documentation Consulting. His expertise includes application programming interfaces (APIs), software developer kits (SDKs), Java-based products, Web services, speech recognition products, Visual Basic ActiveX controls, operating systems, databases, client/server products, and programming languages.