Most companies value documentation. I keep talking to software developers who’re working for small companies and they all say “yeah, our boss knows that its important to have documentation, that’s why he has us document as we code…”
It’s great that they know that having documentation increases the customers trust in the product or service. Unfortunately, there’s a “but”.
“But,” my friends tell me “I hate writing the documentation. And I always have to spend so much time figuring out how to write things. I know how to write code, but I’m not sure someone else would understand my documentation…”
Yes, a technical writer takes some time away from the developers, as they need to describe what a product is and how it’s meant to work. But we save time in the long run because we can just get on with the writing — and in the end, we tend to produce much higher quality content and a much better document than your stereotypical software developer.
If the developers at a company are spending a large chunk of their time writing documentation rather than coding, and there’s more work than people, then it may be worth looking into hiring a technical author instead of another developer. The developers you already have can spend more time writing the code they were hired to write and the technical writer can pick up and improve the documentation.
The quality of documentation your company produces is just as important as the quality of the software you write or the service you provide. If you give customers poor documentation, it could affect their opinion of your overall company image.
For more information, refer to the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicator’s page on Why Use a Professional Communicator?.