Writer, Meet Tester
A software tester can be a tech writer’s best friend, and vice versa. Jody (writer) and Arthur (tester) work together on APIs at Salesforce.com, and we’ll talk about the tools and techniques we use to improve the quality of both our software and our documentation at the same time. While our APIs are still in development, we gather feedback internally. We established an API design review board to approve every API change -- this made a huge difference in ensuring that we offer a consistent, easy-to-consume programmatic interface to our users. We also conduct regular “dogfooding” sessions in which users are provided with draft documentation and asked to find both doc and product bugs. Our testers created an automated mechanism to alert us of any API changes in case anything slipped past the review board. It’s proven to be invaluable for both doc and testing to keep up with the various teams who are building functionality into the API. Once our APIs are publicly available, we take pride in listening to our users in help forums, on Twitter, and through pilot programs. We’ve clarified our documentation and added test cases numerous times based on customer pain points.