I am a technical writer that currently writes for the aviation industry. I got a job offer for an API technical writer position. They said I don’t need API experience, but they think my experience with HTML/CSS/JavaScript and XSL is enough for me to communicate with the developers and produce the API documentation. Thoughts? I’m a technical person but I just don’t have any experience with API.

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    I think you'd be able to learn quickly enough. But if you're unsure, try looking at some API documentation. Or see if you can contribute to the documentation for open source projects on github.
    – user54131
    Jan 31, 2022 at 7:27
  • @towr thank you! I did some research last night, and it seems that most that have trouble with it, at least in the technical writer field, are those that have no aptitude for coding/programming languages in general. I’m going for it!
    – AJK432
    Jan 31, 2022 at 13:38
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    API is not an algorithm or a program, API is just a contract. Thus, one does not need to be a developer nor a user of an API in order to write documentation. Understanding the contract is all that is necessary. This is different from writing a tutorial, because that would require you to actually write code.
    – Alexander
    Feb 1, 2022 at 0:12
  • You mean you don't have experience of that API, of documenting APIs in general, or of using any APIs? Do you know what an API is? If you've any familiarity with programming you should understand APIs even if you didn't call them APIs. But if you've absolutely no concept, then maybe you don't have enough experience.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 2, 2022 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I spent decades writing books about things I didn't have experience with when I started each book, because they didn't really exist before I wrote the book, which was released at the same time as the technology. Your job in this role is to ask the right questions, to learn quickly, to come up with good examples, to try stuff yourself (with a pre-release version in many cases) to see what happens and then document that, and to write clearly.

Done well, you produce documentation the developers never could, because they know how it works but may not really know what it's for. Done really well, you find flaws in the product that they fix before they ship it (yes, I've done that more than once.)

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