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Hi, my name is README! - A Look at Why Docs are So Important


When starting a new project, as developers we usually get right into hacking things, like tinkering with libs that we would like to learn or solving a particular problem as quickly a possible. Occasionally we also decide to publish the resulting package to PyPI, so that others can use our nifty code, submit a pull request and maybe even form a community around the project.

If you're lucky someone might find it on the front-page of PyPI or the GitHub search or maybe even Hacker News or Reddit. What happens next is on you really. But what does that mean?

Before jumping right to the command line and installing your package, those who are interested usually try to find out what problems the project is solving and how it can help them with their own. That's what your README file is for - it's most likely the first thing potential users read, that you control.

A good README briefly and concisely explains what your software does, how it can be installed and what API it exposes. You also want to provide information on the requirements, the license it uses and how the project is managed. Who are you? How to get in touch to report problems and give feedback? Where can I find the Code of Conduct for this project?

This talk is for everyone who is interested in working on open source projects and wants to know how documentation can help newcomers and more experienced users use your code and to encourage them to engage in the community.


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