inessential by Brent Simmons

Seth Dillingham on documenting Conversant

Seth Dillingham is writing docs for Conversant. He writes, “It’s like learning a new way to see the software, because I’m forced to explain it to people who don’t really know anything about it. It can be frustrating, but it’s also helping me to see areas that could be improved in the software, things that are obvious and make the most sense only if you were present at the creation.”

It’s an important lesson I’ve learned several times—it’s good for engineers and architects to write docs because it makes the software better.

The software is everything—it’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, it’s why we stay up late, it’s what we dream about.

In fact, as I was lying in bed last night waiting for sleep to come I got into that semi-dreamy state, only instead of seeing butterflies or sheep or whatever I saw linked lists. In my mind I was skipping along, following the pointers, jumping from one node to the next.