Every project starts off with an idea. Sometimes those ideas are bigger than one person, or even a small group of people. That was the position [Rory Aronson] found himself in with Farmbot, his finalist entry in the 2015 Hackaday Prize. Documentation was key for [Rory]. Farmbot first came into the world in the form of a white paper. The paper included a request for collaborators, making this an open source project from day 0. Documentation has been important throughout the Farmbot project, so it was naturally the topic of [Rory’s] talk at the 2015 Hackaday SuperConference.
Rory’s mission statement is that “Great documentation is a fun, thorough, and concise dialogue that distributes knowledge”. He’s right of course. Anyone can pick out terrible documentation. It’s either too long, too short, out of date, or just plain wrong. [Rory] strives to keep documentation short and to the point with the Farmbot project. He’s not the only one working on it – that’s the ‘dialogue’ part. Farmbot has a forum and a community driven documentation site which makes the documentation easy to keep up to date.
No one likes writing documentation – it’s just not as much fun as jumping onto the next project. The reward is in inspiring people to work with you, to build upon the foundations you’ve laid down. It often helps to have some humor while you’re in the middle of documenting a project. That’s where the fun comes in. For [Rory] fun took the form of a few puns, meme images, and his trademark thumbs up photo at the end of every assembly step. Check out [Rory’s] video after the break, and give us some of your documentation tips in the comments!