I have had to read technical documentation over the past 4 years in order to better understand how to use various tools required for different projects I undertook. From my experience, reading documentation is one of the most important ways to learn about cutting-edge technologies in computer science.
Types of Documentation
As a software developer you might come across several types of technical documentation. I have listed a few here:
Programming Language Documentation
The quality of documentation varies across various tools and languages; one sign that you are using a well-support programming language is that the documentation is clear, unambiguous and easy-to-read. Bookmark these resources, since they should be available to you online. These resources will serve as a reference to the language’s syntax, methods, functions, classes, and any built-in tools offered by the language.
Documentation created by open-source groups and organizations are likely to be updated often, depending on the strength of the community.
Third-party Documentation for Tools and Libraries
Developers love the idea of creating stunning graphical user interfaces for their users, but most of the time the built-in tools of the languages they are using — quickly fail to meet the expectations of the developers and their clients. This is the reason why third-party alternatives are so popular amongst developers — stunning graphics, animations and user interfaces are now just a download away; but in order for a developer to use any new tool properly (or even complete the download/setup process) they must delve into the documentation.
Studying well-written comments should give the developer insight into the design decisions of a piece of software. Classes, methods, and important variables should be noted and their purpose explained.
ReadMe.md, or ReadMe.txt, files can be found bundled with software you download from the internet or have installed already on you computer. They serve as a guide for developers and can contain almost anything, i.e. a summary or purpose of the software, setup instructions, a user guide etc.
It is important to not see technical documentation as a burden early on in your journey — it shouldn’t hinder you as a software developer, it should assist you in creating exciting, new and amazing software.
Hello my name is Ashé (a.k.a. Curtis). I am a software developer with a B.S. in software development and security. I love developing microservices and coding in Java & Node.js!!
Contact me, if your interested in a software development tutor: https://plan2code.org/mission