Documenting APIs training course – writing and managing

Primarily aimed at REST APIs, this will help you to document your API, and manage the API documentation process. This course is aimed mostly at people who are not developers, and no programming experience will be required.

The exercises are based around an API for topic everyone understands – a hospital, using publicly accessible APIs.

This course is offered as an online course, as part of our WriteLessons programme.

We were recently asked to deliver this course as a classroom course for staff at the Government Digital Service. As a result, we can now also offer it as a one day classroom course to other organisations in the UK and mainland Europe. 

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone responsible for managing, planning or writing API documentation:

  • Technical communicators unfamiliar with APIs and API documentation
  • Developers unfamiliar with Information Design and technical writing best practices

Course outline

  • What is an API?
    • Types of APIs
    • Examples of APIs
    • How REST APIs work
  • Using an API
  • Where are APIs?
  • The audience for API documentation
    • What do they want?
    • Who uses API documentation
  • Writing API documentation
    • What content goes into an API document?
    • Common structures for API documents
    • Automatically generated content
    • Manually written content
    • Writing the content
    • Code samples
  • Design patterns in API documentation
    • Standards and emerging conventions
    • Designing the content to meet the audience’s needs
  • Authoring tools
    • Creating content
    • API Specification tools
    • Publishing the content
    • Managing the content
    • Automation tools
  • Managing an API documentation project
    • Mixing automatically generated content with hand crafted content
    • Editing and reviewing content
    • Maintaining the documentation and version control
    • Integrating it with your existing documentation workflow
    • Building a documentation team
    • Testing


Delegates will need to use a computer during the course. There are a few free applications that we’ll be using that will need to be installed prior to the course.

No programming experience is required.

Duration and delivery format

The course modules is delivered over the Web in small, manageable video presentations. The course handouts and exercises are downloadable as Word or PDF files. With the time needed to complete the exercises, each delegate will need to allocate around two days to complete the course.

We can also offer this as a one day classroom course for teams within an organisation.

This course is now part of WriteLesons

WriteLessons, from Cherryleaf, provides you with access to a range of courses in technical communication. You have access to all of the courses contained within WriteLessons, under a monthly subscription plan.

Cherryleaf also offers API documentation writing services.