At TeknaByte, we fully believe in the importance of software documentation tools when it comes to software development. After all, software documentation tools act as a compass for your software development team. Software documentation is used as a reference guide that explains how the software works, how it operates, and how it can be used by users. Software teams may also refer to documentation when discussing product requirements, design specs, or release notes, and these are just a few examples of how software documentation tools can be used!
While many people believe that the hardest part of writing software is the code itself, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, one of the hardest parts of writing software is the act of documenting it. For this reason, the majority of those working in software development often put off software documentation because they find it to be time-consuming, complex, or an unnecessary expense. Regardless, software documentation is an especially critical part of the software development lifecycle and, for this reason, it must be carried out in order to create a highly reputable piece of software.
Today, TeknaByte will be explaining not only the importance of software documentation but the tools that you can use to make the entire process easier. If you work in software development or run a business where your team of software developers are a key component surrounding your success, this is information you need. With that, let’s get started!
What is Software Documentation?
Put simply, software documentation is either written text or an illustration “that accompanies computer software or is embedded in the source code. The documentation either explains how the software operates or how to use it and may mean different things to people in different roles.” Documentation is a crucial part of software engineering and is created in various forms with different uses.
Here are a few of the most common types of software documentation, as well as their uses, as defined by Wikipedia:
- Requirements – Statements that identify attributes, capabilities, characteristics, or qualities of a system. This is the foundation for what will be or has been implemented.
- Architecture/Design – Overview of software. Includes relations to an environment and construction principles to be used in design of software components.
- Technical – Documentation of code, algorithms, interfaces, and APIs.
- End user – Manuals for the end-user, system administrators, and support staff.
- Marketing – How to market the product and analysis of the market demand.
As you can see, there are various applications in which software documentation plays an important role. With so many areas actively using software documentation to inform their actions and job roles, it is crucial that your software be documented properly. Unfortunately, this is sometimes easier said than done. That’s where software documentation tools come into play.
Why Do You Need Software Documentation Tools?
So why do you need software documentation tools? Put simply, once you are done with software development, you already know how each element of that software works and have likely already memorized or made notes of the software’s key functions and capabilities. For this reason, you may feel that the act of documenting your software is unnecessary. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.
In the event that a new developer or new hire joins your team, it is highly unlikely that he or she will be able to use the system and understand how it works. At the same time, if the person who was responsible for working on a particular piece of software were to leave your company, knowledge of how the system works is gone along with them. For these reasons, software documentation is absolutely necessary. With software documentation, your software becomes more easily understood by users and developers alike, making it much easier for them to understand and customize on their own.
Software documentation tools make the process of documenting your software easier than ever. Not only do these tools provide you with everything you need to document your software more quickly, but they also take this particularly boring process and even make it fun!
What Are Some of the Best Software Documentation Tools?
So, what are some of the best software documentation tools that you and your team can use to complete the process? While there are a variety of software documentation tools on the market for you to choose from, TeknaByte has narrowed down a few of the best choices to make it easier for you to take on the software documentation process at your company. Here are our top picks!
Bit.ai is a software documentation and knowledge management tool that assists teams in effectively collaborating, tracking, sharing, and managing all company knowledge all in one place. Unlike standard Word Docs, Bit.ai is completely interactive and enables developers to effortlessly add code blocks to a document in a matter of clicks.
One of the best parts about using Bit.ai for the process of software documentation is the fact that multiple people can simultaneously collaborate on a Bit smart document all in real-time. Best of all, however, Bit.ai allows you to safely secure knowledge in your workspaces and can be shared (or even kept private) with anyone in your organization or in the public!
GitHub is another great software documentation tool that is actively used by around 28 million developers worldwide. GitHub pages allow you to convert both your GitHub documents and repositories into an attractive website where you can showcase not only your software documentation but also your current portfolio and projects.
If you don’t want to create a separate website for your documentation, however, GitHub also allows you to utilize a section for hosting documentation, known as a wiki. Here, you can store all of the most important details about your project from how to use it to how it was designed. GitHub makes software documentation easy.
Our final pick for the best software documentation tools that your team can use is ProProfs Knowledge Base. This particular software documentation tool is perfect for the process of employee onboarding. Employee onboarding isn’t something that can be ignored, especially in the case of remote workers.
A new employee’s first few days with your company are the most critical because this is time that they must use to learn about their job role and your company as a whole. ProProfs Knowledge Base enables your employees to use this time wisely and efficiently. This is because the software documentation tool gives you everything you need to create an online employee handbook that acts as a way for new hires to get acquainted with your business’s vision, policies, and their expected role.
Packed with useful features you can use to provide your employees with a smooth onboarding experience, ProProfs Knowledge Base is easily one of the best software documentation tools on the market today.
TeknaByte for All of Your Software and Application Development Needs
Now that you understand the importance of the software documentation process as well as the role that software documentation tools play in the process, you may find yourself in need of more help in terms of software and application development.
If so, look no further than TeknaByte, Indianapolis’s best IT Consulting and Managed IT services firm. We now offer software and application development services, and our experts work hard to understand the unique vision and needs of your business, implement a solution for that vision, and offer software technologies that you can rely on. We make the software development process easier than ever! If you want to learn more about what we can offer your business, feel free to contact us today with any questions. We look forward to working with you!