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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Creating Documentation

    Good Morning All,

    Here's a good problem for you:

    I started at this company 2 months ago as a Co-Op student "on loan" P) from the University. This company doesnt do anything programming related, and are not even in that field. They wanted a Comp-Sci student in order to create a bunch of programs they needed done and consolidate their current programs.

    As such, I have done both. I consolidated all their current project management software and documents onto the activeCollab system online. As well, I've taken most of their programs and re-wrote them into web-based database driven programs run off their local sever on PHP and MySQL. With the exception of the activeCollab system, most of the code was written from scratch by myself (I did borrow an upload class and a user class from a couple sites on the web).

    Problem is, in a month and a week, im done here and back at the University. They have suggested the possibility of hiring me back when needed for maintenance, but have stressed that they would like it more if someone here could "just do it" after I leave. As such, they want me to write documentation so that someone else can pick it up and modify it after I leave.

    However, the closest person to any knowledge of programming is another employee who took C++ years ago during their Engineering classes.

    What im asking is, is it even possible for me to write any documentation? In reality, it sounds like I would have to explain the entire PHP language, how PHP interacts with MySQL, etc. Would it be better for me to recommend to management that they pay to send the employee to classes to be properly trained in PHP/MySQL and document any specific tools, classes and PEAR modules I used instead?

    I'm at a loss as to even where to start or what to write. I have my code (Well, most of it) documented already as it should be, its writing the manual I suppose thats the problem.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Andrew,

    it looks like you've done a lot of work there. Yo ucould have done that because you have loads of 'basic' knowledge and specialised knowledge. Even if you'd write all that work in some sort of documentation, the guy reading it to solve a problem afterwards or to extend your developments will need lots of time to succeed. Much longer than you'd need.

    So my opinion is to explain your 'boss' that he hires you afterwards whenh needed. It'll look more expensive to him, but in the end it'll be cheaper.

    Good luck with university!

    Michel

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Could they look at hiring a tech doco writer in house? You could interact with him and he could convert what you explain into more lamens terms?

    RJ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    Could they look at hiring a tech doco writer in house? You could interact with him and he could convert what you explain into more lamens terms?

    RJ
    This is a very small company, and it would be hard to justify hiring someone else to document my work rather than do it myself. At least, thats how management would see it. The object here is they want to avoid hiring anyone to replace me (Thus, reducing staff costs), but use what they already have here.


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