Technical Writing



When we talk about Technical Writing in Software Development, it encompasses all written documents and materials dealing with software product development. All software development products require some related documentation. Documentation exists to explain product functionality, unify project-related information, and allow for discussing all significant questions arising between users and developers.

This documentation can be divided into two main categories:

  • Product documentation
  • Process documentation

Product documentation describes the product that is being developed and provides instructions on how to perform various tasks with it. In general, product documentation includes requirements, tech specifications, business logic, and manuals. There are two main types of product documentation:

  • System      documentation represents documents that describe the system itself and its      parts. It includes requirements documents, design decisions, architecture      descriptions, program source code, and FAQs.
  • User      documentation covers manuals that are mainly prepared for end-users of the      product and system administrators. User documentation includes tutorials,      user guides, troubleshooting manuals, installation, and reference manuals.

Process documentation represents all documents produced during development and maintenance that describe… well, the process. The common examples of process-related documents are standards, project documentation, such as project plans, test schedules, reports, meeting notes, or even business correspondence.

The main difference between process and product documentation is that the first one record the process of development and the second one describes the product that is being developed.