Hey there, developers!
You write a lot when you work as a developer. Primarily, your writing is for computers. However, businesses are made up of people.
What if your user, the CEO or your next employer reads your writing?
Is effective communication necessary?
It's one thing to write code to solve an issue but quite another to communicate its outcomes to real people.
By writing well, you can expand your capacity for effective communication within teams, an organization, or your end customers.
Additionally, when engineers advance in seniority, from senior engineers to what some organizations might refer to as lead, principal, or distinguished engineer, the capacity to influence that outside of your immediate team becomes increasingly important.
While creating code is a crucial element of the job, choosing what code to write and how to write it is a second and frequently more significant aspect. This section involves a lot of teamwork because any significant piece of software requires the cooperation of business, technical, and interpersonal interests.
Writing about a problem will nearly always be helpful if you need to find a solution to a challenging issue. This implies that someone who isn't skilled at writing will generally be at a loss when attempting to solve such problems.
As you already know - commit summaries, code review comments, chat messages, e-mails, engineering planning documents, comments on proposals, Project Requirement Documents (PRDs), or engineering planning documents like RFCs, postmortems, performance reviews: peer reviews, self-reviews, and promotion documents, among other things, are all examples of the writing that developers produce daily.
Communication has changed
Whereas a few years ago, we could slide a few meters in our office chair and converse with a coworker about something, now we typically write to them.
In today's times, how one expresses oneself is more important than it was.
Your writing needs to be clearer, more succinct, and more compassionate when it is read by your coworkers, manager, or manager's management.
According to Karl Hughes, in their ﬁrst few years on the job, developers nowadays spend roughly 30% of their workday writing, while developers in middle management write for 50% to 70% of their day; those in senior management reportedly spend over 70% and as much as 95% of their day writing.
Effective written communication is just as important when writing a message in a WhatsApp group or an e-mail to a customer.
Trends are changing, and staying in step with them is necessary for a developer to remain competitive and professional.
Today's trends favour concise sentences, comprehensive explanations, and effective communication.
How to write well?
Writing is a crucial component of today's software development. As remote work grows more prevalent, its importance will only grow.
To start, you don't necessarily need to create a public blog. A smart place to start is by taking on little tasks like responding to Stack Overflow queries, posting on Twitter, keeping a journal, or spending more time on your business's internal documentation.
The more you write, the better you'll become.
When you read well-written information, keep in mind that three steps took place in the background:
- Writing: most of the concepts and material in the final version were included in this step.
- Editing: the article was adjusted for readability and clarity.
- Feedback: the content may have changed due to comments from others and additional editing.
Tips and tricks for writing
Anything you write for the first time, from an unsent chat message to a lengthy paper, should be considered a draft.
Don't be afraid of the draft. It needs to be ugly and messy. Editing will come at the end.
You'll want to revise it to ensure that the message is as clear to readers as it is to you.
To ensure you are doing it right, follow these tips and tricks:
- Consider how the person on the other end will understand your message before you submit it in a chat. Check your writing while putting yourself in the shoes of the reader!
- Think about these questions: How simple is it to understand? Will your target reader be enticed to read the entire piece if it is lengthier writing?
- Use paragraphs that are only a few sentences long and express one thought apiece.
- Don't forget to use shorter sentences! Your readers will find it more difficult to follow a statement the longer it is.
- Remember to check the grammar. It's a must! Grammarly and a myriad of other tools are handy.
- An excellent technique to present multiple points is through bulleted lists.
- Use strong typeface sparingly to reserve this design element for essential ideas, points to remember, or questions.
- Put more value on the reader's time than on your own. You should modify your writing to make it simpler for readers to understand what you are saying.
- When sharing your writing, precise inquiries are a good idea. If you ask for general comments, most individuals will need help understanding what kind of feedback you need.
There is no doubt that the ability to write and communicate well is a superpower that is becoming more and more crucial.
Indeed, poor writing can impede career advancement.
Top comments (1)
This is a very important area that I am increasingly active within each day.