If someone knows a thing or two about API documentation, that’s Beth Wright, content strategist & senior technical writer at Checkr, the leading technology company in the background check industry. She had led documentation efforts for leaders like CoreOS and used dozens of tools. But when it came to revamping Checkr’s API docs, a newly discovered one really stuck...
Three years later, Checkr is onboarding thousands of big employers and gig economy innovators with sleek API documentation powered by Redocly.
This is our story together.
Content strategist & Senior technical writer
Checkr graduated from Y-Combinator in 2014, and it has since then superpowered the on-demand economy with background checks at scale. Used by Uber, Instacart, Handy, Zenefits and thousands of others, Checkr has an API-first business model that relies on an amazing developer experience, both internal and external. In 2018, Checkr’s in-house docs tooling had become inefficient and unwieldy to manage, requiring hours to update and fix bugs. That’s when Beth decided DIY school was out.
Beth evaluated off-the-shelf solutions old and new, but only found unacceptable compromises. Free documentation tools would still suck away developer time, while all-in-one SaaS providers severely limited freedom because they
Fortunately, a Google search brought her to Redocly, which checked all the boxes and then some, offering the perfect mix of freedom and hands-off standardization:
Oh, and if you’ll excuse the bragging rights, Beth was completely sold when she found out that Docker and NASA were using Redocly. We actually run in space. Go figure!
Ease of onboarding was a particularly strong plus for Beth and her army of developers. As soon as the team realized they could do everything docs-related from a single Git repo, without extra hoops or integration rigmarole, they were all-in.
In a way, this approach offers the same freedom as the “DIY school,” but without the need to maintain your own tools, all while publishing styled documentation with a single solution that “just works.” The term win-win comes to mind...
Checkr also runs a dedicated documentation flow for their many partner developers. For consistency and ease of use, Checkr uses a separate instance of Redocly’s Reference Docs to host guides that help developers at partner organizations integrate Checkr with their platforms, which are then offered to their customers. This project seamlessly references Check’s primary API docs set, while being more specific in scope and strategic function.
Empires can be toppled in a day, and a lot can change in three years. Especially in the tech industry. And yet, the Checkr ← 💖 → Redocly partnership is still going strong. As Checkr keeps innovating background checks, we’ll also innovate API documentation for this new economy. In fact, Beth herself gave us some invaluable feedback for our next steps, such as going heavy on user analytics, search query stats, and many other little bits that make a fantastic developer experience.
We’re on it Beth! We are on it.