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FIT2043 - Technical documentation for software engineers

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Information Technology

Leader(s): Kevin Korb


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


This unit covers problems with paper-based and on-line documentation; types of technical documentation used in software engineering; document specifications; minimalist design philosophy; graphic design of technical documentation; the context of technical writing; the writing process (analysis, planning, generation, testing, revision and maintenance of written texts); document publication techniques (including SGML, LaTeX and XML); the role of hypertext, hypermedia and markup languages in technical documentation; small-volume and large-volume hypertext; collaborative hypertext; intelligent hypertext.


At the completion of this unit, students will have an understanding of:

  1. Be able to organise and write clear technical documentation;
  2. Understand the different types and roles of technical documentation, including code documentation (literate programming methods, function header documentation), internal designs, external designs, reference manuals, guides and introductory manuals;
  3. Understand the use of the basic types of tools for producing documentation: editors, text formatters, typesetters, desktop publishers, graphics tools, printing and viewing tools;
  4. Understand the role of style in writing;
  5. Understand different approaches to the writing process and which approach best suits the individual student.

At the completion of this unit, students will have attitudes that will allow them to:
  1. Be sensitive to the aims and uses of effective technical documentation at all stages in a project;
  2. Be aware of different writing methods and styles and their suitability to different tasks
  3. Appreciate the wider use of documentation in evaluating, promoting, and supporting projects;
  4. Develop a sensitivity to different reader / audience types.

At the completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Be able to write effective and clear documentation;
  2. Be able to use one of each major kind of documentation development and delivery tool.


Prac Exam: 50%
Weekly Pracs: 50%

Contact hours

4 x contact hrs/week


FIT1002, CPE1001, CSE1202, GCO1811, MMS1801, MMS1802, CSE1301


CSE1305, CSE1402, GCO1063, SFT2203, SYS2204

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at:

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