The Case for Documentation

Do you hate documentation? You have to create it, keep it up-to-date, use it, make sure that other people use it. And there’s always the risk that you spend more time maintaining it than you spend working on the actual project.

And yet…

I adore and (attempt to) follow the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition—we’re a bit behind the times). I know it’s 1026 pages on topics like when to use a period at the end of a list item. That’s the beauty of it. The marvelous, talented, dedicated editors at the Chicago Manual of Style have spent countless hours determining when to use a period at the end of a list item. I don’t have to.

That’s the power of documentation. Whether it’s an issue of style, or steps to perform a procedure, or which file structure to use, if the decision is documented and followed, that’s a decision that you don’t have to spend time on again—and one that will be applied consistently across a project (or multiple projects).

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