Why
Blog
Product Manual
Development
Introducing cDoc: Continuous Documentation
Setup continuous documentation for your Github Repo in under 2 mins!
Taste Of cdoc on Day To Day
Doc in Git™
Lack Of Documentation Is Costing You
Does Writing Documentation Slow You Down?

Introducing cDoc: Continuous Documentation

After much wait we are launching “Continuous Documentation” today!

One common problem that many tech companies face is that their documentation is not up to date. Be it small teams or large, a 2 person startup or the Big Tech.

Lack Of Documentation Is Costing You

Developers spend upwards of 57% of their time trying to understand the codebase. This does not include browsing the code, when they know what they are looking for, rather the time to understand how things work as a whole. Some say the documentation or your product is your product itself. If you do not know how the product works at a high level, it takes too much trial and error, meetings with product managers etc to understand what it does and how to make it work the way you want to.

Lack of documentation means onboarding new members in your organisation or team takes more time than needed, it means when an employee leaves they take with them valuable company IP which is only in their head.

Read more about why lack of documentation is costing you.

Does Writing Documentation Slow You Down?

If documentaiton is important, why is your team not writing documentation? Is this because it slows you down?

It is a perception in some developers that yes, in short term cutting corners on documentation may speed you up. But in the long term writing and maintaining documenation is the only reliable way to keep the development process from coming to a standstill. Writing documentation speeds up your team.

It’s About Process

So if documentation indeed speeds you in the long run, why is documentation not getting the proper attention? Is this because people are lazy? It can not be, the same team produces good quality code, code with low defect, high code coverage, good performance, not many security issues. So why is documentation not good?

Because the quality of code is maintained due to a process put in place. No developer makes changes to code and sends it straight to production. Change goes through a review process. Someone reviews the code. The entire set of test suites is executed on the modified code. In some teams code even goes through manual testing, user acceptance testing by QA team, or product managers themselves.

Trying to keep any of the code hygiene metrics up without this review process would be difficult. Without such a process, expecting documentation to stay up to date, give accurate/reliable information about how the product works, the internals etc, is just too difficult. Some documentation champions will come, sure, they may keep the documentation up to date for a while too. But in the absence of constant maintenance, the documentation will slowly start going out of sync. And once the documentation is out of sync, the urgency to keep it up to date starts going down because if documentation is not up to date, people will not be able to make decisions based on the documentation, and will have to rely on talking to each other, or resorting to other means like trying it out on live product etc, and if people are doing that, then why bother updating documentation?

Continuous documentation is that process. Just like continuous integration, where you do not allow a change to go ahead unless the tests are passing, continuous documentation does not allow change to go ahead till documentation has been written and approved.

You Need A Process To Keep Documentation Up To Date

A team can use continuous documentation workflow by installing FifthTry’s Github App on their code repository, and the app will stop blocking a pull request till documentation has been updated and approved by someone.

If you like this, check out our guide on how to setup continuous documentation for your Github Repos! You can do it in under 2 minutes!

PS: Gitlab and Bitbucket support is on our roadmap.