Many programmers view the task of writing documentation as a necessary evil. After all, it’s often seen as a waste of time that could be better-spent coding. However, for others to use and understand their code, programmers are typically required to document their work, and this can be a tedious and frustrating process.

Programmers hate writing documentation because documenting code keeps them from coding. Writing documentation is often seen as a secondary task, which programmers do when they’re not coding anything new. Programmers are good at coding but not as good at turning their ideas into writing.

One of the less glamorous aspects of being a programmer is having to write documentation, as it often feels like a waste of time, especially when the code is self-explanatory. However, good documentation is an essential part of any software project, and it can save both time and headaches down the road. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why programmers hate writing documentation and provide some tips on making the process easier.

Why Programmers Hate Writing Documentation

While there are various reasons why programmers tend to hate writing documentation, and every programmer will have their own list of reasons why, the majority of programmers all complain about the same things. I’ll go over some of the reasons why programmers hate writing documentation below:

Writing Documentation Requires Time and Effort

Programmers are notorious for hating written documentation. The main reason for this is that documentation requires a lot of time and effort to write well. Unlike code, which can be quickly written and tweaked until it’s perfect, good documentation needs to be clear, concise, and easy to follow. This means that it often takes longer to write good documentation than it does to write the code itself.

The time required to write quality documentation can be significant, and the effort often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. In addition to the time and effort required, programmers also dislike documentation because it can be repetitive and boring. Writing documentation is often seen as a necessary evil, and many programmers would rather spend their time coding.

Writing Code Is More Exciting Than Explaining It in Words

Programmers tend to be more excited about writing code than about writing documentation. After all, code is the fun part – it’s what we’re good at! This is probably the number one reason why programmers hate writing documentation. It can be really boring to sit down and write about what your code does, especially when you’d rather be coding.

It can also be challenging to find the right words to explain what your code does, especially if it’s complex. And, once you do find the right words, you have to worry about whether or not they’ll make sense to someone who isn’t as familiar with the code as you are. Overall, this is a very frustrating process and why many developers completely overlook written documentation.

Writing Documentation Is a Completely Different Skill

Programmers are often seen as being logical and detail-oriented. We like to think of ourselves as being able to see the big picture and understand how all the pieces fit together. This is why we’re often frustrated when it comes to writing documentation.

There is a common misconception that writing and programming are the same skill sets. They are not. In fact, programming is a particular skill that requires a lot of focus and attention to detail. In contrast, writing is an entirely different skill set that requires creativity, organization, and the ability to communicate ideas.

Documentation requires a different way of thinking and approaching a problem. When writing documentation, you need to explain things in a way that’s clear and concise. This is often difficult for programmers because we’re used to thinking about code.

Writing Is Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Programmers are not the only people who hate writing documentation. In fact, many people detest the very thought of it. The reason? Writing is hard, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

To be a successful writer, you need to have a few basic skills. You need to be able to:

  • Organize your thoughts.
  • Structure your argument.
  • Use proper grammar.
  • Write clearly and concisely.

These skills are not something that comes naturally to everyone.

Not everyone is a gifted writer. Some people are just better at communicating through code. That’s why there are so many code comments–to make up for the lack of documentation.

Most Programmers Are Too Lazy To Write Documentation

Most programmers hate writing documentation because they’re too lazy. They would rather spend their time coding than writing documentation. It’s not that they don’t understand the importance of documentation; they just don’t see the value in spending their time doing it.

This is not a stereotype or an insult but rather a simple observation of the most basic human tendency: to take the path of least resistance. And this is precisely why so many programmers hate writing documentation.

Documentation Needs To Be Maintained Just Like Code

One of the main reasons programmers hate writing documentation is the frequency of code changes. As soon as they document a function or a piece of code, it’s likely to change the very next day. This means that the documentation must be updated, and most programmers would rather avoid this extra work.

Unfortunately, documentation needs to be maintained just like code. As code changes, so too must documentation. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task. It’s often easier to just leave the documentation as-is and hope it doesn’t become too out-of-date.

Documentation Is Impossible To Maintain and Organize in a Useful Manner

It’s impossible to keep documentation organized in a helpful way. When documentation is poorly organized, finding the information you need can be complex, which can lead to frustration and wasted time.

It can also be difficult to write documentation in a way that is easy for non-programmers to understand. Programmers are often very technical and use jargon that non-programmers may not be familiar with. This can make it hard for non-programmers to understand what the documentation is trying to say.

For these reasons, many programmers prefer not to write documentation. They would rather spend their time coding than writing docs. However, this can lead to problems down the road when people need to use the software but can’t understand how it works because there’s no documentation.

Developers Don’t Understand the Need for Documentation

Many programmers believe that documentation is a waste of time. They argue that the code should be self-explanatory and that comments are unnecessary. While it’s true that comments can sometimes be redundant, there are many situations where they’re essential.

Documentation can help developers understand the code, especially if it’s complex or written by someone else. It can also be helpful for new team members unfamiliar with the code base. In some cases, documentation is required by the customer or by management.

There are many different types of documentation, including:

  • Code comments.
  • Change logs.
  • Developer guides.
  • User manuals.

The most important thing is to choose the right type of documentation for the situation. For example, comments should be used to explain complex code, while user manuals should be used to describe how to use the software.

Programmers Are Already Burdened With Delivering Code on Time

Programmers are a special breed. They love nothing more than writing code. Anything that gets in the way – including documentation – is typically met with disdain.

There are several reasons for this, but the primary one is that programmers are already under pressure to deliver code on time. Documentation often falls by the wayside in favor of more pressing tasks. If you’re a programmer, you know the feeling all too well. You’re already burdened with delivering code on time; on top of that, you’re supposed to write documentation? It can feel like an impossible task.

Programmers Cannot Succinctly Describe What Code Does in Words

Most programmers hate writing documentation because it’s extremely difficult to briefly describe what code does in words. When writing code, programmers can rely on comments within the code itself to help explain what’s going on. However, comments cannot be used when writing documentation. This means that programmers must find another way to explain their code, which can be very difficult.

This problem is exacerbated because programmers often have to document code that they do not fully understand. This can lead to inaccurate or incomplete documentation, which can be very frustrating for other programmers who need to use the code.

Documentation Is an Outdated Notion for the Modern Developer

Another, more fundamental reason programmers hate writing documentation is that it’s an outdated notion for the modern developer. In today’s world of Agile development and continuous delivery, documentation is simply not compatible with the way most software is built.

The problem with documentation is that it quickly becomes out of date. The documentation needs to be updated as soon as a new feature is added or a bug is fixed. This task often falls to the already overburdened developers, who would rather be coding than writing docs.

In the fast-paced world of software development, documentation is often seen as a hindrance rather than a help. When developers are under pressure to deliver features quickly, the last thing they want to do is stop and write docs. As a result, documentation tends to be neglected or done half-heartedly, which only adds to its already poor reputation.

No One Reads Official Documentation

The official documentation is often long, dry, and filled with jargon. It’s no wonder that programmers hate writing it. But the real reason they hate writing documentation is that no one reads it.

Additionally, the vast majority of users never read the official documentation. They either figure out how to use the software independently or ask a friend for help. And even when users do read documentation, they often find it difficult to understand.

This is why programmers hate writing documentation: it’s a huge waste of time. If no one is going to read it, why bother writing it?

Tips to Make Writing Documentation Easier

Now that you know all of the reasons programmers hate writing documentation (even though it’s necessary), let’s go over the ways you can make the writing process a bit easier, and maybe even more fun.

Use Good Documentation Practices

Using good documentation practices continuously might not make the process any more fun, but it can make it easier to do over time. Here are some tips for writing good documentation:

  1. Write clear and concise instructions. Documentation should be easy to understand and shouldn’t require a lot of interpretation.
  2. Use screenshots and diagrams. Sometimes it’s helpful to include images in documentation to better explain a concept.
  3. Use code snippets. It can be helpful to include snippets of code in the documentation for complex topics. This helps readers understand how the code works and how they can use it in their own projects.
  4. Organize information logically. Documentation should be easy to navigate so that readers can quickly find the information they need.
  5. Keep it up to date. Documentation should be updated regularly so that it stays accurate and relevant.

Following these tips will help make writing documentation less of a chore and will ensure that the documentation is clear and helpful for readers.

Opt For Video Documentation Instead

A great alternative to traditional written documentation is video documentation. This can be a great option if you’re more comfortable talking about your code than writing it. Video documentation can also be more engaging and easier to follow than written docs, not to mention, it’s way more fun for the programmer.

If you’re interested in creating video documentation for your code, keep a few things in mind:

  • Keep it short and to the point. No one wants to watch a long, rambling video about code they may not even understand.
  • Make sure your audio is clear and understandable. Nothing is worse than trying to listen to someone mumble their way through an explanation of complex concepts.
  • Don’t forget to include some visual aids. A few well-placed screenshots or diagrams can go a long way toward making your video documentation more understandable and useful.

So, if you’re a programmer dreading the next time you have to write documentation, make a video documentation instead!

Conclusion

Writing documentation is important, but it takes time to write and maintain. Although most programmers hate writing documentation, they shouldn’t ignore the need for it.

However, managers and higher authorities should also be realistic about the amount of time it will take to create and maintain it.

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