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In my experience, a data dictionary is simply a table describing
fields. For example, one data dictionary I use only has the columns:
Field Name, Length, Type, and Description.
To me, creating a data dictionary consists mostly of the grunt-work of
gathering multiple bits of information and cutting-and-pasting them
into a nice table format. Sometimes this information comes straight
from the programmers or the code, but it can also require a formal
information-gathering process including JAD sessions and SME
The amount of work required depends on the size of the application and
where the information comes from. Sometimes it's merely a matter of
assembling a Word table from a programmer's email. Other times, you'll
need to behave like a business analyst or QA engineer in order to
gather the data to build the table. Either way, I doubt they require
much *writing*. Unless you count the short descriptions you put in the
Technical Writer in Software Development
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