Documentation and Agile Methodology

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media

Abstract: Computer science in general and software engineering in specific is changing very fast. Software engineers are constantly using more innovative and more efficient ways to develop new software than in the past. This continuous evolution of software development methodologies has a great impact on both the software developed and the environment that the developers work-in. Agile software development methodologies are used to overcome many issues in the software development processes. One of the issues which still exists and needs to be addressed is the preparation of proper documentation along with the software. The work presented in this dissertation focuses on software documentation. The work starts by a thorough literature review which focuses on different aspects of software documentation and different agile methodologies. The thesis focuses on finding out the challenges that the developers faces during their development process. Two major questions addressed in the thesis. First one is to find the motivation to document in agile envirionment, whih is based on the hypothesis that there do exist a motivation. The second question is that how should documentation be produced such that we could avoid maximum possible potential problems. These questions are addressed with the help of different perspectives of the stockholders (i.e. developers and users) and the existing methods for documentation. A questionnaire was developed based on the nine categories of documentation, like user documents and system documents etc.. It included different questions related to the types of documents created in software development processes, the software development stage at which the documents are created and the importance of the documents. Questions from this questionnaire are then posted on agile specific discussion forums. Where many experienced and fresh practitioners participated in the discussion. We had a detailed discussion on every component of documentation and problems were identified by the practitioners. The questionnaire was also sent to different companies practicing agile methodology. we received about 14 responses as it was detailed questionnaire with about 34 questions. The responses of the discussion forum and survey are then analyzed and conclusions were drawn. The conclusions include that all the participants consider software documentation very important to the success of a software development project. the question of motivation is answered from the literature and opinions we received from experienced practitioners. While seven factor are identified that affect your documentation, to help solve the question of how should documentation be done.

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