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Thoughts on developer documentation?

How does everyone feel about documenting your code and projects. Is it necessary for companies? Do you like it or is it busywork?

Top comments (7)

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

I love writing documentation. Because it helps me test and validate my ability to explain what I wrote.

phlash profile image
Phil Ashby

I was the same (retired from commercial work now though!). First explain it like I'm 5, then you know your understanding is good enough to write the tests, then write the code to pass the tests...

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy πŸŽ–οΈ • Edited

What kind of things are you writing documentation for? I can't really recall writing much in the way of documentation at all over more than 25 years developing professionally - in the smallest, right up to large companies.

I'm not just being devil's advocate here... I'm genuinely curious

avbisme profile image

Just more curious to get a sense of how folks feel about documentation. My assumption it is something we all have to do, but I am wondering if my assumption is wrong.

tqbit profile image

I don't like writing technical documentation. The thing is, I like debugging and guesswork even less.

As for functional documentation, you basically have two options.

  • Users will call for you anyway. If you wrote the docs, you can redirect them there.
  • If you didn't, you'll be busy working down the service request list.

I find writing docs less tedious since I started blogging though. There are plenty of tools that make it very simple. Especially software like JSDoc, Docusaurus and Obsidian.

taijidude profile image

I think it's really important write the right documentation. I think self explaining code is a myth If you go beyond simple tutorials or basic scripts. That beeing said my opinion in how to document best is still forming.

curiousdev profile image

Documentation in general and documentation of the code is kinda different to me.
For a project it actually can be very important and for code it depends on what you want to document, because if it is about explaining what the code does, I would try to avoid doing it.