Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Not My Documentation

Almost every software developer knows it's good to document their software.
Almost every software developer doesn't.
Almost every software developer is smart.

Therefore, it is smart not to document software!

I say that partly in jest, but I really do think software developers are just not ideal at writing documentation. It's not that we're bad at writing. Most developers I've known are actually pretty good writers. The real reason software developers make such poor documenters is we generally don't know how to think like our audience. Writing documentation is like writing code--understanding the needs of the end user is critical. Our technical training simply doesn't prepare us to do well.

I've never tried this, but it seems that an ad-hoc team made up of a documentation consumer (at the keyboard) and a programmer (to provide information) would make a powerful combination.

38 comments:

  1. just wanted to share a resource on how to write maintainable code, though not written by me, it's good.

    files.meetup.com/120980/Writing%20Maintainable%20Code.ppt

    dedicated software developers

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