Documentation is planning ahead.

Development without prior learning or planning is akin to heading to the ocean without a map and expecting to come out alive. It can happen, it’s just not very likely.

When you are working in engineering projects sometimes it is hard to explain (or to justify) to others the importance of writing good documentation to back up your ideas and avoid major obstacles later on.

A lot of people seem to think that pushing forward without a plan will somehow get you there, in reality (or perhaps in engineering?) things are a little different:

Hacking your way around a problem (kind of like beating a screw with a hammer) sometimes does work for small quick and dirty projects (mostly when you are working alone) but it almost certainly will not work for major important projects (more so for team projects); you will make wrong design decisions and continue onward until you meet a dead end, and then you will have to go back to the drawing board and start over (tell that to your colleagues)… Fun!

As a last note: A while ago I found this set of articles published by Joel Spolsky which I thought were excellent and quite entertaining, totally worth reading.

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