Documentation: It’s a love-hate relationship

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Excerpt

You have written elegant software that you know has commercial value and want to people to use it. The problem is no documentation. You hate documenting your work, but you need documentation in order to sell it.

Description

Submitted on behalf of Russel Pike

That’s where we come in. We are KnowledgeLink Consultants and we have over 20 years experience doing what we love: documentation. Specifically, taking your software and documenting it so that your users can implement it.

In this presentation, we will take you through the process we use to create the documentation for an open source application.

Good software documentation starts by analyzing the audience to determine who will be using it. Once we know who will be using it, we can determine their level of sophistication as software users. This allows us to determine the level of detail necessary for the various users.

The next step is to identify the tasks that the users will perform with the software. This is especially important if there are several types of users that can perform several different tasks with the software. Once we identify these tasks and the hierarchy of tasks, we write the procedures for how to use the software to perform them for type of user.

We also determine whether reference documentation is needed. We examine each dialog box, field, tab, and button and explain what it is and what it can do. We also evaluate the software with developers and create a series of FAQs to deal with the questions that may come up while using the software and the answers to these questions.

End your love-hate relationship with your software. Combine our documentation strength with your coding strength to realize your goal of producing that marketable software you intended.

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