AI automatically generate documentation from code with the help of Mintlify

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Mintlify, a startup developing software to automate software documentation tasks, today announced that it raised $2.8 million in a seed round led by Bain Capital Ventures with participation from TwentyTwo Ventures and Quinn Slack, Sourcegraph’s co-founder. Wang said the idea for Mintlify came from his and Lee’s experiences in software development, which involved working with documentation that wasn’t always complete or of the highest quality. Their observations agree with a 2017 GitHub survey, which found that 93% of developers consider incomplete or outdated documentation to be a pervasive problem. We’ve worked as software engineers at companies in all stages ranging from startups to Big Tech and found that they all suffer from bad documentation if it even existed at all, Wang told TechCrunch in an email interview.

Documentation is the lifeline for junior engineers and those jumping into new codebases. Mintlify aims to address the challenges around documentation with automation, specifically auto-generating documentation. Wang declined to reveal more about Mintlify’s technical underpinnings, but generating documentation from code is well within the realm of possibility with today’s AI techniques. That’s evidenced by the fact that Mintlify has several competitors taking similar approaches, including Documatic, whose AI system automatically generates changelogs and explanations from code in addition to documentation.

Mintlify’s mission is to solve documentation rot by developing continuous documentation into a standard practice for software teams, Wang added. Beyond generating documentation, Mintlify routinely scans for stale documentation and detects how users engage with the documentation to improve its readability.  This made high-quality documentation critical to achieving efficient communication, onboarding, and product development, Wang said.

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Wang declined to reveal more about Mintlify’s technical underpinnings, but generating documentation from code is well within the realm of possibility with today’s AI techniques. Wang asserts that Mintlify provides significantly higher quality results than its rivals, and — unlike some — doesn’t force developers to host documentation on a cloud service.  When engineering managers are actively seeking solutions for better documentation practices … that’s when we step in.

Beyond generating documentation, Mintlify routinely scans for “stale” documentation and detects how users engage with the documentation to improve its readability. (Wang emphasized that the platform doesn’t store code and encrypts all user data at rest and in transit.) Mintlify, which is free for individual developers, also integrates with existing systems including Slack, Dropbox, and GitHub for automating task management and development workflows.

According to Wang, the adoption of Mintlify’s free plan has been growing 20% every week since its January launch. With the user base now eclipsing 6,000 active accounts, the company plans to shift its focus to a premium offering oriented toward enterprise customers.

“The pandemic standardized a decentralized and asynchronous work environment. This made high-quality documentation critical to achieving efficient communication, onboarding, and product development,” Wang said. “Our expansion into workflow automation is addressing the challenge by targeting the engineering managers with our existing fanbase serving as champions.”

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