Learning patterns/Documentation Friday

A learning pattern forproject management
Documentation Friday
problemYou want to get into the habit of writing documentation on a regular basis
solutionDedicate one day a week to writing documentation
creatorHarej (WMF)
created on30 June, 2017

What problem does this solve?


You are working on a coding project – an extension, a gadget, a really complicated template. Or maybe it's not even a coding project, but something that, if you were to disappear, no one would know how to pick up your work and start again. You know that you're supposed to write documentation, but you keep forgetting to because you're not in the habit of doing it.

What is the solution?


Dedicate one day a week to writing documentation. I, the author of this learning pattern, coincidentally happen to do most of my documentation work on Friday, and so I've decided to coin it Documentation Friday. Of course, you are welcome to pick whichever day of the week works for you.

On Friday, or whichever day of the week you choose:

  • Go through all of your documentation. If you do not know what "all of your documentation" entails, prepare a list of all of the documentation you are (or should be) responsible for. (Example: User:Harej (WMF)/Sandbox#Documentation for a personal list; Wikimedia Resource Center/Documentation for a portal's documentation.)
  • Read through each document. Make sure it is up to date. Update it if it is not up to date.
  • For good measure, figure out if there is a piece of knowledge you have that isn't written down yet and should be. Write it down.
  • You are not allowed to do other work until you have completed your weekly documentation.

Example: For the Wikimedia Resource Center, I have developed an intricate system of templates, Lua modules, and JavaScript gadgets. I was asked to list pieces of documentation for the project. I realized I had no comprehensive list, so I created one. I also realized I happen to do most of my documentation on Friday, so I decided that this would become a thing.

See also