A new method of documentation: the Wiki

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Clearly, the documentation takes time and is not the most rewarding task of the world, but if you think about the long term benefits of document perhaps it will motivate us a little more to do it. Code documentation , documentation for customers or just the internal documentation are essential due to these factors :

Knowledge Transfer

If you’re thinking that your world is limited to your work and your code can be like a work of Picasso, untouchable, you’re wrong . We all work as a team and I’m sure what you’re doing now , will be edit by someone else in the future. If that person has a complete documentation of everything done their learning will be much faster . Think about when you start an undocumented work : what would you like to know? What data would you need? Those are the questions you have to ask yourself to document your own work.

Practical importance

How many times we gone mad because we have to write a 40- pages inform at work? Imagine that we had already done most of the work and the only thing missing is what we like the most , copy and paste. Well, if we have a complete good working documentation , conducting or reporting deliverables is simply copy and edit some paragraphs of this documentation.

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Methodological importance

Doing things right is more important than just doing them.  When we do programs , designs or works that the rest will see we strive more . It may be for improving our image, because of embarrassment, or because are very cool , but the result is always better. If we look the collaborative side of the issue, that someone can see your documents allows the detection of errors and improves the quality of the final result.

Communication

Something that is vital in a company or working group is that everyone is aware about what everyone else is doing and the expetise areas of each other . Thus, knowledge sharing is much simpler .

Contingencies

This last point is obvious. If when an important problem happens we have  documentation, it won’t be panic spreading. Without this documentation, people would go crazy and take a long time to solve the problem. So look in this way, the document saves time.

Therefore, in the laboratory, we have created a Wiki to document our development projects. This is the first step in order to create a new culture of documentation in the lab, and finally, a high quality results.