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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Documentation Driven Development

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Novice / Talk
March 12th 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Developers usually leave documentation as a final step; one that they will get to as soon as they are forced with threats of bodily harm. Writing the documentation before writing the code, can lead to better code, better implementation and, of course, actual documentation.


"Documentation Driven Design" was coined by our team after noticing how documenting code dramatically changed how we approached problems. By writing the documentation first, you saw the problem from a different perspective: the end user or programmer. This talk will focus on a few items:

Usable, not just functional. Many times developers write code that solves the problem, but is a real pain in the neck to use. Writing the documentation first demonstrates how easy or difficult it is to implement the solution right away.

A guide to what to write. Many developers leave documentation undone because they don't know how to approach it. Having some idea of what needs writing can make the task seem less daunting.