Breaking the Stigma – Understanding the Importance of Technical Documentation

08 Feb, 2023 | 4 minutes read

Do we need technical documentation?

Imagine the following situation – your team expands with experienced developers and you expect an increase in productivity and efficiency. However, the reality is quite different. The new team members expect to find a well-documented codebase for the project and are eager to provide value immediately, but instead, they find a large, poorly documented codebase. The team has to spend a significant amount of time to walk the new developers through the project code, which they themselves might have even forgotten. This results in a drop in productivity and difficult project onboarding due to a lack of technical documentation.

Even if this has happened to many, maybe we still don’t need technical documentation, after all?

Usually, managers might think that they do not need technical documentation, or that if we promote a culture of documenting code as it is created and changed, everything will be solved. This is true for small companies, which do not have a lot of projects, but what about companies that grow and have lots of projects?

Creating and maintaining internal documentation is a huge challenge for multiple reasons the time and cost being among the most important. Closely next them comes the monotonous task of code documenting, instead of using creativity to write code and create amazing solutions. On top of it comes the ‘there is no code documentation standard’ issue leading to technical documentation being badly written and scattered on various platforms. And due to this, many think that having documentation is the same as having no documentation at all.

We thought the same up until the moment of – spending too much time for code documentation, and investing too much time and resources to onboard new members to projects, more specifically SnapLogic projects. That’s when we decided to create a documentation generator that will automatically do code documentation.

Good technical documentation:

  1. Saves time and effort
  2. Increases productivity and efficiency
  3. Reduces support costs
  4. Elevates your service/product

From NO to Technical Documentation to YES: How Virtual Assistant Pete Changed the Game?

Working with integration since the beginning of our existence, we have been involved in delivering value to numerous clients in different industries. That involves working on a lot of projects ranging from small to big, taking time from months to years. The team responsible for delivering value to our clients has been growing ever since, and every new addition to the team was just an opportunity to increase the value that we provide, and increase our skills. Everything went smoothly until we realized that the process of code documentation for our SnapLogic projects and the process of onboarding new team members took too much time and resources. Both processes were done manually – every developer wrote the code by themselves (this means little to no standardization), and spent weeks walking new members through the project documentation.

Saying NO to project documentation was completely out of the game as code documentation is a must-have for every development team, but automating the process of project documentation with our own tool was a huge YES and leap forward. This is where Virtual Assistant Pete came to play and changed the game.

Pete is a tool that automatically generates Atlassian Confluence documentation for SnapLogic projects. With a simple click, you can have your project documentation generated to Confluence in less than a minute. Having a tool to do the project documentation meant:

  • Standardizing project documentation – consistent documentation formatting for all projects
    • Detailed documentation – comprehensive documentation for each SnapLogic asset, providing a high level of detail,
    • Significantly reducing the time required for project documentation from weeks to minutes,
    • Improving team efficiency and creativity by freeing them from the mundane tasks of documenting projects,
    • Significantly reducing the time needed for onboarding new team members,

Knowing the benefits, is there a better alternative than automating project documentation and Virtual Assistant Pete?

To sum up, our longstanding experience in IT has shown that there is a need for project documentation. Even though some people try to go around it, looking at long-term, project documentation leads to increased service quality and satisfied customers. When it comes to integration using SnapLogic, we have seen that there are 3 common approaches to project documentation:

  • No documentation,
  • Manually generated documentation,
  • Virtual Assistant Pete

We compared these three approaches and this is the result:

No DocumentationManually Generated DocumentationVirtual Assistant Pete
Time Spent/10+ hours2 minutes
Standardization/No standardizationStandardized
Maintenance/Manual & DifficultAutomatic & Easy
Onboarding Project MembersDifficultEasy, Time-ConsumingEasy & Fast
Updating Projects/Easy, Time-ConsumingEasy & Fast

Once again, speaking from our experience we strongly recommend automating the project documentation process. If you want to try out our Virtual Assistant Pete, feel free to reach out to us. We are offering a free consultation, demo, and trial period of 1 month. For more information about Virtual Assistant Pete, read Unlocking the Power of Virtual Assistant Pete: An In-Depth Look at its Capabilities.