Tom Johnson has written two interesting posts on his blog on the “Documentation as Code” concept:
Documentation as Code can be interpreted in a few ways. Tom describes it as being able to store the documentation with the code:
From a technical angle, Etter argues that one should embrace lightweight markup languages, use static site generators, and store content in version control repositories with engineering code.
An other interpretation associated with this is that documentation should be seen as a design problem; it should be seen as part of the product (and seen in a similar way to the software code), rather than an add-on. If the documentation is stored with the code, it can mean that the requirements for documentation can be more closely linked to the code. When a requirement for a new feature is raised, so can a requirement for the related documentation. It can also mean that content that’s embedded in the UI, presented as on-boarding screens or presented as online Help, can be considered as different potential solutions to each user need.
Documentation as Code is a topic we touch on in our advanced technical writing training course. It’s an approach that we may see growing in popularity.