The "classic" development artifacts are requirements documents and design specifications. But the development process includes many other non-source code artifacts: bug tracking databases, emails, wikis.

What kinds of non-source code artifacts do you think are most vital to your development process? And how do you keep these documents up to date?

Also, are there any artifacts that you don't necessarily find useful, but have to use because it's required by the contractor or management?

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    A heavy "box of shame" that is put on your desk as soon as you break the build. – Job Dec 12 '10 at 17:15
  • Closed as part of STCI cleanup for the software-engineering tag. Unfortunately, this question is just generating a list of artifacts rather than answering a specific question. – Thomas Owens Mar 18 '12 at 14:52

Source code edit history

(especially if linked to use case and bug tracker)


(UI Mockup) Wireframe and Compositions

Required by contract. In order to qualify, the company needs to hire user-experience (UX), human-computer interaction (HCI), and graphic designers who can furnish those artifacts, and signed off by the DBA, in the first milestone.


Use Case

Use Case is most vital for development process. For each new use case we simply update them and relate them to the case number. At the backend there is of course a versioning tool.


In my first job out of university, there were two significant non-code artifacts.

  • The payroll reindeer was a little stuffed toy that sat on the desk partition of the person currently responsible for maintenance of the payroll system.

  • The project management tool was a wooden rod, 1/2 inch square and about a foot long.

Nuff said, I think.

  • +0 (neutral): Not enough has been said. Are you really claiming that even a TODO list isn't useful? – Macneil Dec 13 '10 at 0:49
  • @Macneil - definitely not as important as a payroll reindeer, IMO. – Stephen C Dec 14 '10 at 3:08

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