Generating a Culture of Doc


How do you encourage engineers to do the write thing? (Not a typo.) At, we now have a team called, “Core Documentation.” We are primarily focused on documenting our internal systems and architecture. Many of us on the team don’t create content: We generate framework, best practices, and training for engineer-created content. (Content can include and is not limited to: code comments, run lists, specs, team web pages, wikis, white papers, architectural diagrams, presentations, etc.) But that goes back to the first question–how do you get someone to write, when the word “writer” isn’t part of their title? We’ve been successful using several different venues: - Documentation “hack” day – where engineers spend a day improving their internal doc - Events where posters of different aspects of the architecture are displayed (think art walk, only for engineers) - VERY easy to use templates for readme files, etc. - Lunch meetings/presentations/training/networking - Flattery, appeals to logic (bus factor) and bribes Plus I would also present some of the things that haven’t worked.