Portfolio

I’ve had the pleasure of being an API technical writer crafting user guides for great companies since 2012. Most of my work has been with technology, crypto, SaaS, and FinTech companies motivated to simplify their help documents. Below are samples of my work. -Peter Gustafson

Coinbase.com is a powerhouse platform dominating the world of DeFi. I know, old news. I was hired by CB to help update internal docs and Salesforce architectural diagrams for their new engineers. Empowering new employees to onboard themselves is trendy and required for growing empires such as Coinbase. My approach was to make the diagrams more engaging by adding color. Below are API documents I wrote for Coinbase. Note: because of my NDA, I am unable to publish completed diagrams.

ENS Labs is the leader managing human-readable names like alice.eth to machine-readable Ethereum addresses such as 0x742d35Cc6634C0532925a3b844Bc454e4438f44e. They exist as the ETH registrar for top-level domains to create decentralized names issued as tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain. Registration is managed by using smart-contracts. I was tasked with reviewing ENS Labs’ online developer documentation and make recommendations for improvement.

Alchemy.com is one of the fastest-growing Web3 App developer platforms in the world. Built by smart engineers and forward-thinking brainiacs, it was my pleasure working on the Alchemy project. Since most of their API docs are generated by Swagger output, a personal touch was needed. My consultancy with Alchemy involved two deliverables: 1) reformulate choppy doc structure and 2) add tables and section blocks for reading ease by reducing long scrolling. I developed a simplified API doc template for their tech writers to integrate. Below are before and after PDFs of my work.

Another solution I implemented was adding a pinch of marketing into their API docs. To entice more users on to their platform, I coded a simple call-to-action button at the top of their docs for users to get started for free.

The Epic Games Store is a world-class powerhouse with 150+ million global users. They hired me to review and rewrite 120+ game developer API docs. Then plunge into the SDK docs. There’s multiple users involved in these API docs: game developers and the users that buy those games from the Epic Game Store. Docs were written in Markdown [docs-as-code]. I used a minimalistic API doc template for all new docs. Slack conversations with devs solved doc blockers. Below are a handful of my Epic Games drafts (published links & raw Markdown files) created in 2021.

ShipEngine.com is the leader of e-commerce shipping APIs. The project was a full rewrite of all published API conceptual help guides. These types of guides are critical to reduce onboarding of developers. My approach was to help ShipEngine lower the friction of developer onboarding. My workflow was docs-as-code writing in Markdown and Atom connected to a ShipEngine repository. I tested endpoints and received help from the developer SMEs via Slack. Some endpoint code examples were pulled from Swagger. Daily video chats with engineers about endpoint use cases helped move our project forward. Some of my ShipEngine work is below.

Stripe.com is one of the leading payment providers globally. They hired me write new API docs for their platform users. Below are docs I wrote for Stripe.

Upvest.co (German API trading platform) products are designed to enable users to trade fractional shares of US financial products (S&P 500) in the EU via APIs. They hired me to write new API docs for European Securities and Markets Authority API endpoints. Much of my time was spent writing API docs for EU KYC and German MiFID II identity compliance. Docs were written in Markdown [docs-as-code]. Slack conversations with devs solved doc blockers. Below are documents I wrote for Upvest.

 

TowerData.com (purchased by AtData) is one of the largest email API services in the US. They hired me to rebuild their API documentation UI after testing all endpoints. Also update their SDK docs. I built a three-column UI using Ruby, Slate, and Markdown. Editing the CSS code to match the TowerData brand colors was vital to this project being a home run: docs.towerdata.com. Below are my published pages and raw Markdown draft files.

Ahana Cloud Inc., an IBM company, is a privately-held the only SaaS for Presto, offers the only managed service for Presto on AWS with the vision to simplify open data lake analytics. Ahana has the vision to build the best engine for the Open Data Lakehouse. Presto, the open source project created by Facebook and used at Uber, Twitter and thousands more, is the de facto standard for fast SQL processing on data lakes. I was hired by Ahana to write developer documentation for new users. Below are some of the documents I wrote for Ahana.

Tom Johnson, owner of the legendary blog IdRatherBeWriting.com, asked me to write a guest post about my portfolio development. I was honored to be part of Tom’s best-in-class API technical writing teaching site. He has been helping technical writers learn how to write API documentation since 2012. I developed many of my API doc writing skills from Tom and am a lifelong advocate of his training modules. Below is the link to my published article:

WEXinc.com is a global payment processor of virtual credit card transactions used by Expedia.com, HotWire.com & Priceline.com. A few other thousand customers enjoy the one-time-use card numbers. I was hired by WEX Bank to document a new payments product and build a new API docs UI. I built the UI with Ruby, Slate, Markdown. The target users were bank developers in need of onboarding docs for new users.

MatterLabs.io is an R&D company focused on scaling Ethereum with zero-knowledge proofs. Below is one of my rewrites for Matter Labs.

TON.org is a third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain organization. The crew at TON are fast movers in the blockchain world. TON is capable of handling millions of transactions per second. Their Toncoin is a game-changer along with their DApps and Apps. Below are some examples of my work.

Apache.org is the gold standard in big data. I was hired to write their Apache Sparke white paper on Apache Spark. It was a great project combining technical docs with a hint of marketing. The target users were analysts interested in learning about SparkSQL, Spark MLib, and SparkR. Below is the my finished version.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a non-profit regulatory agency that oversees brokerage firms and their registered representatives in the United States. Their regulatory bodies include the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Regulation. FINRA asked me to assess their existing documentation and make recommendations for improvement.

GIFs rock. When multi-step tutorials are required, use GIFs. 10 second fast ones fine-tuned for speed are best. For new platform users, a quick GIF gets technical concepts across quickly. GIFs provide a dynamic visual format, capturing user attention and making complex processes more engaging. Some documentation gurus are using GIFs, but not many. Are you? They’re easy to screencast record and convert to GIFs. The benefit of using GIFs rather than pure video is file size. GIFs come in small file sizes and don’t require excessive media hosting. Below is one I built how to create a ShipEngine shipping label.