Monday, March 07, 2005

Documentation

This morning work was all about design/planning. It took nearly four hours to pare through one category of change requests, trying to determine what fit with our current set of goals and what didn’t. Leading up to today’s meeting I had spent a decent amount of time working to verify the bugs/changes, and come up with a preliminary idea as to what we should do. Though it took more of my time, I think it really helped with the meeting, having verified each change request/bug before it faced committee really made it possible for us to get more done.

I am beginning to understand why companies are willing to spend so much money on development suites. Not just individual solutions such as bugzilla, CVS, and the like, but total solutions like Rational. In an environment where documentation is nearly as important as the code its self, having a good suite of software to help with the organization would really save a lot of time. After having gone through all of the change requests, there was nearly another hour of work just making sure that various databases were updated with the appropriate changes.

To business owners/analysts, the documentation is the way that they come to understand the code, how it works, and what changes are being made with their blessing. That being said, it takes so much “extra” effort to keep the documentation up. I guess that explains why some dev shops have an entire team dedicated to documentation. Maybe in the future, we will have programming languages that are better at generating automatic documentation. JavaDoc has come a long way, but if a programmer doesn’t do it, it doesn’t work, and that still won’t cover the whole world of planning/design.

It would be interesting to see how other mid-large sized companies without the super expensive project management suites handle the whole issue.

One week until spring break, a minor to-do list remains:

- Chapter five in Linear Algebra
- Preparation for Linear Algebra Exam on Thursday
- Finish Software Practice assignment due Friday AM
- Computer Organization assignment – not due until after spring break, but it would be SO great to finish this week and then not have to worry about it.

I am really looking forward to having a week off from school. Work won’t be going away, but it will give me the opportunity to pick up some extra hours if I choose. Having the time to read recreationally, along with not having the stress of the project of the week will provide a welcome and needed rest.

No comments: