Building Docs Like Code: Continuous Integration for Documentation

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  • Published on Oct 22, 2019
  • Speaker: Mason Egger
    # Abstract
    Project documentation is easy to neglect. Keep your docs inside your
    source repo & learn how to automatically build & publish beautiful docs
    on every commit. Viewers will leave with a new mindset on how to handle
    documentation, tooling for this process, & an easy-to-implement method
    to achieve this.
    # Description
    It is common for developers to overlook the documentation of their
    works. They are either on a time crunch, lack the proper tooling, or
    simply just forget to create and update the documentation. Whatever the
    cause behind this, it is not a proper excuse for not keeping the
    documentation up to date. However, for all our development processes
    there are few as neglected as the documentation process. Documentation
    should be treated as important as the code that makes up the project.
    So, let’s move the documentation into the code. With modern
    documentation tools such as MkDocs and Sphinx, both of which are Python
    powered tools, and Continuous Integration tools we can now include docs
    in the commit. They can be reviewed in code reviews, built and versioned
    in a CI tool, and even tested for things such as correct code examples
    and broken links. This is the process that the developer knows,
    understands, and enjoys. I introduced a team to this exact workflow and
    a working pipeline; all they had to do was keep the documentation up to
    date. This team currently has some of the most up to date documentation
    in a company of near two thousand engineers, and they never complain
    about writing/updating documentation. It’s just part of the workflow.

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