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Leveraging the elements of API documentation to build active development communities

This presentation defines APIs and describes the various information types that build a complete API documentation set.

It shows the relationship between the information types, shows the expected level of expertise for which each information type is targeted, and shows how an entire documentation set can leverage community dialogue.


  • What are APIs and why are they used?
  • What are the difficulties of writing useful documentation as a developer, and why is it so hard "switching hats"? 
  • What type of information is needed to use an API? 
  • Getting started guides/walk-throughs, tutorials and hello worlds (audience and level of expertise)
  • Code samples (audience and level of expertise) 
  • How-to guides (audience and level of expertise)
  • How to make this an active community? Online developer forum with integrated documentation set for cross reference