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October 2013 Archives

Project READMEs

Posted by Marty Haught on Oct 31, 2013Comments

A practice that I have my projects follow is a self-guided README file. The concept is simple. The README should guide you through everything you’d need to do to get this app up and running on your local environment. It seems like an obvious must have on projects yet I’ve encountered several that don’t do this.

As I value efficient use of time, I find having everything I need to get an app up and running in easy steps is huge. As a consultant I end up running easily a dozen apps each year. This README saves me time and makes sure I didn’t forget any important steps. There’s nothing as frustrating as doing the normal rails setup steps only to find an app failing due to some unusual dependency or missing data. Having the README avoids this issue. It’s especially helpful if I haven’t run an app in a long time and just want to make sure I don’t need to redo any of the steps.

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