Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Documentation!!! It's a pain

"I was born to write not to code". I am clear about that. The terms are also loud and clear. Writing and coding are as different as chalk and cheese. But then there is something known as documentation and believe me it is no joy . I need to rephrase my statement now. " I was born to write but documentation is definitely going to kill me".

People call me a developer. But what I am developing ? If I am developer,is development work so mundane and mediocre? I have added one line of code last week. Two days of this week have gone in writing something known as a Test Plan for that single line of code.( remember I haven't tested anything yet)I have reworked on that description ( or scenario as it goes in the Test plan) all these two days. My first draft bears little resemblance to my final one. When I compare both of them , I wonder what I had in my mind while documenting ( not writing) the first draft. It's a pity that I didn't go through the standards document( the word "document" again!!!) when I embarked on my task. But I doubt if the story could have been any different.

I now understand what a powerful tool my dear companion parenthesis ( ) is. It often comes to my rescue while blogging. ( ) helps me express any kind of subtle feeling or any kind of chatter going offtrack . I tried doing the same while documenting. " Why parenthesis? What's the difference between the condition inside it and the one outside it" came the comment from the reviewer. I never thought of that while blogging. Sorry dear paren ( pet-name for parenthesis), but I had abandon you.

Documentation is definitely a pain. I had to change the "is" to "should" , present tense to future tense, the language to pieces of code and what not. I worked and re-worked on it and finally when everything seemed fine, I realized that the template was not the latest one. Good God!!! When and why did the template change?

When I think about it, I realize that I am not alone. A huge chunk of the IT industry does it day in and day out. One of my friends in the canteen was explaining how his fingers have got used to the CTRL+C, ALT+TAB, CTRL+ V commands .All this in the name of development!!! Hmmmm.. then India is a developing nation full of developers like me.

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