Do FIX Documents HAVE To Be Bad?

Poor Documentation Silently Limits Your Growth

  • It’s not clear who should update it (lack of ownership)
  • I’m too busy with the day job
  • Our service is so unique / complex, it can’t be made easier
  • Limited pipeline of new customers demanding it

What Does Good Documentation Look Like?

OK. Let’s Answer Those Obvious Questions…

Why Now?

  1. Management realize that FIX is just another API. The global trend for API documentation could not be any clearer or predictable — it’s all online, and it all looks like Stripe. It is simply a matter of time before management start asking why your FIX API is not documented in the same way. Indeed, most Crypto trading platforms are already doing exactly this.
  2. Your company invests in a customer portal. As companies respond to customer demand for self-service, and seek to automate their own workflows, more firms will move towards offering self-service portals. Financial services firms of all sizes do not typically have in-house web developers — it is not something they’ve ever needed before — and may struggle with this transition. API documentation is a significant portion of the content to be delivered through such a portal.
  3. Your competitors start doing it. This is always the biggest motivator; a prospect mentions how they saw something cool from your competitor, or they win an award, and the next day it is added to your annual objectives. You know the way that goes.
  4. Something goes wrong. What would happen if a production issue was traced back to inaccurate documentation? Or a high-profile prospect doesn’t go live, because they give up with your documentation? Both have the potential to trigger a laser-focus on improved documentation and process (although I accept that it is more likely to be a review-style project than fundamental re-write).

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