Gordon & Gordon is a partnership of two award-winning writers who specialize in technology, Gordon Graham and Manuel Gordon. Our clients hire us to explain complex products and to persuade demanding customers. And we share our many years of experience through practical, cost-effective consulting and training.
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Documenting APIs and SDKs
This entire workshop now available on DVD.
Gain from the rich interaction of the live workshop, with none of the cost and headaches of getting there!
"Help wanted: Technical Writer to document SDKs. Must have Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Master's degree in Technical Communication, plus five year's experience in a similar position..."
In their dreams! In the real world, there are a lot more SDKs that need documenting than technical writers with the ideal qualifications.
Documenting SDKs isn't easy, and it's not for everyone. But it is a highly sought skill.It's work that will earn you respect, both from other writers and from programmers. And it's one of the best-paying gigs in our industry.
Sure, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Why not you?
Er, what's an API?
An Application Programming Interface (API) is the interface that software presents to programmers who need to build applications on top of that software. If you can package that API with useful documentation and good sample programs, you have a Software Development Kit (SDK) your company can sell.
No documentation, no SDK!
Programmers and marketing people often use the terms "API" and "SDK" interchangeably.
What will this workshop give me?
This 1-day workshop focuses on how to organize and produce SDK documentation, no matter what programming language the API is written in.You'll learn why companies bother with SDKs, what programmers want and why sample programs are so important.
For full details, see What You Will Learn.
Do I need to be a programmer?
To document an SDK, you should learn something about the programming language it was written in... usually C, C++ or Java.
Yes, there are lots of thick books and lengthy courses that will teach you how to program in those languages.
But that's overkill for a tech writer with an urgent deadline.
So Gordon & Gordon developed two 1-day workshops that cover exactly what you need to know about each language:
But I still don't understand what the programmers are talking about?!
To document an SDK, you often need to understand the many layers, components and platforms that underlie the software: clients, servers, mainframes, UNIX, Linux, PDAs, widgets, objects, classes, components, middle tiers—and yes, even daemons!
And since you may well be working closely with programmers, it helps to understand the issues and tradeoffs that drive all software design, including the design of APIs.
To meet this need, Gordon & Gordon developed a 1-day workshop that covers all this background:
At the end of this workshop, you will be able to work with software developers to create useful documentation for a Software Development Kit (SDK).
What You Will Learn
Why Bother with SDKs?
What SDK Documentation Looks Like
What Programmers Really Want in an SDK
Generating Reference Documentation
The Outline for a Developer's Guide
This workshop will be presented in Montreal on April 20, 2005. Click here for details.
To be notified when this workshop is next held, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.