Starting off

So, you want to write the docs for your project?

Where on earth do I start?

Well, you’ve come to the write [sic] place.

The goal here is to explain how to write docs, how to get the time to write docs, and what you should be striving for with those docs. A lot of projects are different, and a lot are the same. We will be covering the tactics for a few different groups.

Open source developers

You have some awesome open source code, but nobody knows how to use it. The chance of someone discovering and using your awesome code goes up greatly with good documentation.

Start with the A beginner’s guide to writing documentation, which provides practical advice on getting started.

Developers at a company

You need help justifying writing documentation for your project. It seems the timelines you’re given hardly allow any time to write tests, and docs always get put off until the end. Well, here are some ways that you can show value to your boss, and hopefully get the time to write the docs.

Get started with Building documentation mindshare in a company, which should give you a blueprint for how you can implement a documentation solution in your company.

Enterprise users

You are a SAAS or Services company and you have developers as your target audience. If you don’t have great documentation, your competitors will leave you in the dust. It will also jack up your support costs, because customers can’t help themselves.

This page of Interesting approaches to documentation is a good starting point to see some documentation that is well done.