Why and how to document software projects – The general approach

In many software projects, especially those carried out by SMEs and freelance professionals, it is not considered appropriate to carry out a minimum planning or a study with the specifications that the software product should achieve. Most of the time it is estimated that it is a waste of time and money, the most is due to the inability of the “professional” to do anything that goes beyond the source code of the application.

Then I will enunciate some of the circumstances that occur when not elaborating any type of technical documentation

Difficulty attracting investors / financing

The software is perceived as an intangible product, and therefore, nobody invests money in something that can’t be clear. Having the technical document, specification sheets and execution budgets is essential to increase the value of the software product before an appraisal of it. It may even be fundamental to be able to perform that appraisal.

Inefficiency in the use of resources and increase in production costs

Not having an intelligible document for any person in the organisation in which the characteristics of the final product are determined, will cause a great number of redundancies and lack of control that will make effective management of resources and time impossible. They can even perpetuate projects or make them wreck despite being relatively simple and have a limited scope. You need to know that the lack of control is a nightmare.

Dependence of the programmer guru

Many programmers are very reluctant to elaborate any type of documentation, since it causes them to have total dependence on them. If that programmer leaves the organisation, how to keep the product updated if the general characteristics of the product are not known? This situation can dramatically shorten the life cycle of a software product, given the impossibility of keeping it updated or endowing it with new functionality. This will significantly reduce the profitability of the software product. Never rely your company on one or more individuals but rely on a strong documentation system. Dependence is the enemy of independence and you should not be dependent on anyone other than yourself. For example, if you are assigned to make an essay while you have no friends to help, you can get a detailed essay help on such site as https://buyessay.org/

Impossibility of obtaining the collegiate visa of the works

When the software product is subject to the scrutiny of the Public Administration or a banking entity seeking financing, it is not strange that the work visa is requested by a professional association as a guarantee of the characteristics of the resulting product, its quality , its value and its price. To obtain such a visa, not only must a technical document be available, but it must be prepared by a licensed engineer and comply with strict legal and regulatory regulations.

But how?

When you have doubts in the project code you need to see the documentation that may be related. When you want to see how some of the documentation is applied, it is good to have the code nearby.

Sometimes you need to take the code to a machine without connection or change machine. If the code goes next to the documentation you will not have to do two steps.

If you have access privileges to the code, they usually go hand in hand for accessing the documentation. One of the practical examples of keeping the documentation near the code is the Qt documentation, where ex-nokia and ex-trolltech documented in the code.

If your documentation is inside the code there are tools that help you extract that documentation and compact it in a very accessible way. Doxygen or JavaDoc are clear examples.

Hopefully this article can answer your doubts regarding the need for you to document your project software. Whichever step you choose, make sure you put quality first on everything. Good luck!

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