Swimm tackles software documentation challenges

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience in crafting compelling narratives and making complex topics accessible. His articles and interviews with industry leaders have earned him recognition as a key influencer by organisations like Onalytica. Under his leadership, publications have been praised by analyst firms such as Forrester for their excellence and performance. Connect with him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)

Internal documentation is a crucial aspect of software development that captures essential knowledge about code. However, creating and maintaining documentation can be time-consuming and challenging, leading to knowledge silos and reduced efficiency.

To address these challenges, Swimm offers a powerful documentation platform that integrates with the development process, simplifying documentation creation, maintenance, and discovery.

Swimm’s ecosystem includes an IDE plugin, a GitHub app, and a web app that work together seamlessly:

  • The IDE plugin allows users to discover, browse, read, create, and edit documents across different repositories, integrating documentation into the development environment.
  • The GitHub app verifies documentation with every pull request and automatically updates it based on changes made in the codebase using Swimm’s patented AI algorithm. In case of a breaking change in the code, the GitHub app alerts the user to update the relevant part of the document.
  • The web app is used for creating, editing, collaborating on, and organising documentation.

On May 9th, Swimm is releasing a significant update to its IDE plugins for VS Code and JetBrains

Previously, the plugin only allowed developers to read and access docs in their preferred IDE, while displaying the relevant document next to the code. Following the update, developers will be able to create, edit, and keep documentation up to date directly in the IDE.

Swimm’s rich-text editor enables developers to create documentation as they write code, reducing context switching and improving productivity.

A patented algorithm called ‘Auto-sync’ further enhances productivity by automatically keeping code snippets and other elements within documents up to date, eliminating the need for manual updates.

Swimm helps to facilitate cross-team collaboration, overcome bottlenecks, and improve engineering efficiency and quality.

By reducing knowledge silos and helping teams create a culture of documentation, Swimm’s solution helps teams to cut the onboarding time for new developers by around 55 percent.

The rich text editor and live code elements make it easy to document complex flows that span multiple files and repositories, while automated updates triggered by Auto-sync make documentation maintenance a breeze.

Developers can subsequently find documentation when they need it, right next to the relevant code in the IDE. Overall, this works to reduce the time and effort needed to search for information. With this approach, documentation finds the developers.

According to GitHub, both enterprise and open-source projects see a productivity boost of around 50 percent with easy-to-source documentation.

With Swimm, developers can focus their efforts on writing code, knowing that documentation is seamlessly integrated into the development process, making it easy to find and use when needed.

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