Object-Oriented Development and Documentation

Subject: Object-Oriented Development and Documentation
From: Betsy Perry <betsyp -at- VNET -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 16:56:27 -0400

I was very pleased to discover, in James Coplien's
"A Development Process Generative Pattern Language" web site, which is
devoted to describing behavior patterns conducive to good software
development, a writeup on the utility of a technical writer to an OO
design/architecture team. (Coplien calls this pattern a
"Mercenary Analyst", but you can't have everything.)

The web page is

---- snippet from page begins ----
Solution: [to the problem that many developers don't want to write]

Hire a technical writer, proficient in the necessary domains, but
without a stake in the design itself. This person will capture the
design using a suitable notation, and will format and publish the
design for reviews and for consumption by the organization itself.

The documentation itself should be maintained on-line where ever
possible. It must be kept up-to-date (therefore, Mercenary Analyst is
a full-time job), and should relate to customer scenarios (Scenarios
Define Problem).

Resulting Context:

The success of this pattern depends on finding a suitably skilled
agent to fill the role of mercenary analyst.

---- end snippet ----

Not only do *we* know that we can add value to a design team, but the
software designers are noticing, too!

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