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Discussion on: How Google, Twitter, and Spotify built a culture of documentation

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dougaws profile image
Doug

All this sounds good, but what happens when the project is under-staffed? Do we really expect developers to write docs when they struggle to keep up with shifting requirements? It's the old "you get what you pay for". Without an executive-level documentation champion, docs will always get the last seat at the table.

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niklasbegley profile image
Nik Begley Author

You make a good point Doug - the cultural change has to include people at the top of the engineering organization. They have to understand that without investing in docs they increase their tech debt that can slow down the whole engineering org. My hope is that over time, just like with automated testing, engineers at all parts of the org chart will come to ask for documentation with all projects.

My suspicion is that many overestimate the cost of maintaining documentation. If you have a system in place, incremental improvements to docs don't have to be a huge burden that suck time away from other engineering tasks.

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dougaws profile image
Doug

And underestimate the damage that inaccurate docs have on users' opinions. Once a user discovers inaccurate content, they are leery of trusting anything else you say.