Having your programmers document their code is always a challenge for several reasons. One reason is that the primary duties for a programmer are to design, implement, debug, and maintain existing code. Another reason is that software modules are often written and rewritten many times before they are made public, and developers who begin documenting API implementations too early can often feel like they’re committing to design decisions that are just in a trial basis. Third, if the specs or requirements later change but no one remembers to rewrite the manual, the result is documentation that’s out of date and inaccurate, which could inhibit efforts by the next developer even more.
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Probably the most effective way to get developers to document code is to make documentation a team effort. If a few developers have ownership of a certain module of code, have them give a presentation to the entire team explaining how the code works. As they prepare their presentation, they will have done most of the legwork required for formal documentation, and, and questions the other team members have can be added to the documentation.
Another technique is to make the documentation more of an everyday function rather than an isolated event by pairing off developers to test the other person’s work and applying the techniques of agile development to the documentation process. To help your developers keep up with each other, technical training courses such as Python training courses or Oracle PL/SQL training courses will also encourage team discussion and a willingness to share their work.
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