RE: Should software documenters learn to read code?

Subject: RE: Should software documenters learn to read code?
From: "Victoria Wroblewski" <victoria -dot- wroblewski -at- eagletest -dot- com>
To: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 09:58:07 -0600

-----Original Message-----
From: Downing, David
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:04 AM
Subject: Should software documenters learn to read code?

>(A) technical writer who starts reading code might start thinking this
>as well.

It all depends. If you look at code as a programming language, it's a
lot like any other language. You may learn enough Italian for your trip
to Italy so you can veer away from your English-speaking tour group and
walk around the market or go to a restaurant without being totally lost,
but there is a big difference between being able to find out where the
nearest bathroom is and being fluent in a language.

Being able to look at code and understand some of it is a useful skill,
but you don't need to become immersed in the World of Code. And I think
you can easily read code and not go down the path of starting to think
of the mechanics of a program - you can stay a lot more detached from
the mechanics of it when it takes you a few minutes to say "Oh, that's
how they did 'that'!" to yourself vs. being one of the team that put six
months of 9-10 hour days into figuring how to get the code to do "that."

- V

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Should software documenters learn to read code?: From: Downing, David

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