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Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software

New topic in API course: Why documenting code is so difficult

by Tom Johnson on Jul 29, 2019 •
categories: api-doc

I recently added a new section in my API documentation course on documenting code. This is an entire section that I'm building out with about 7-8 topics. The introduction is called Why documenting code is so difficult.

Here’s the intro:

Software code, often written in Java, C++, or any other language, is challenging to document in part because technical writers often aren’t already fluent in the programming language. But even for writers or developers who are fluent in the language, code is hard to document. There isn’t a step-by-step process to follow. Code is often arranged in non-linear order, so you can’t simply proceed line-by-line through it. There’s also the question of how much to document, what to cover, and where to include the documentation. Overall, best practices for documenting code are somewhat fuzzy and undefined, which makes documenting code one of the most challenging and difficult tasks technical writers face.

Read more here: Why documenting code is so difficult.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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