Exciting ExDoc: Save Time & Reduce Risk by Enhancing your Documentation

Flora Petterson


It’s easy to neglect documentation. But stale, dense, missing or plain wrong documentation can cost hours of frustration at best, and contribute to an unwelcome incident at worst. However, capturing team knowledge in engaging, up-to-date, and complete docs can prevent bugs, save hours of development time, simplify onboarding, shorten PR reviews, improve morale, spot weaknesses in a system, build trust between team members, and even enable a healthy work-life balance.

If we are deep in documentation debt, how do we find the happy place of helpful docs? Fully utilizing ExDoc, a tool to generate documentation for Erlang and Elixir projects, can help you get there. Besides standard tools, ExDoc has added many features that make it easy to improve and maintain your docs. Livebooks, mermaid charts, and custom pages are just a few of the many capabilities.

This talk will walk through before and after examples of how common documentation challenges can be solved using ExDoc.

Key Takeaways:

  • This technical presentation will walk through how to use specific features of ExDoc to improve the documentation of any Elixir or Erlang application.
  • Guided by the principles of Living Documentation and Domain Driven Design, I will discuss: making abstract concepts easier to understand through visual representations, turning static examples into interactive ones, best practices to prevent docs from going stale, and how to build a team culture of knowledge-sharing through writing.

Target Audience:

  • Everyone who writes developer documentation
  • Most relevant to anyone who is interested in or is already using ExDoc.

documentation, writing, exdoc