Honeypot Style Guidelines

Honeypot
Honeypot
Jan 14 · 3 min read

Hey, developer! You must have come here from reading our post about how you can write for us. Before you do, it’s worth checking out these few style guidelines below.

Basics:

  1. Write for our audience: Our audience are developers of all levels, from junior developers to CTOs.
  2. Be original: Originality is key. That doesn’t mean you have to find something which has zero results on Google, but…
  3. Step away from the buzzwords: Jargon-free is heaven, stay away from buzzwords as much as possible.
  4. That which stands out: We love content that starts or advances a conversation, explores new ideas or opinions, and backs up its claims (so include links where possible or appropriate).
  5. Me, myself and I: Talk from personal experience, make it understandable, and rubber duck the shit out of your article.
  6. How long should it be? Try and write for no less than 3 minutes reading time — that’s around 900 words.

Editorial:

Voice and Tone

We write for a range of different purposes and employ different tones depending on the context or the person we’re addressing. Ultimately, we always put developers first. This means that:

We speak plainly: We’re not a tech glossary. We don’t need to use big words to sound impressive. We cut the bullshit and get to the point.

We are genuine: Developers do not suffer fools. This means that we take an authentic and honest approach to our writing. We speak in a friendly and accessible way, and we always seek to understand their needs. This shows in our writing.

We are experts: We give developers the information they want and need. We share data and we always back up our claims.

We can be irreverent: This comes with a fine line so be careful not to overstep. Firstly, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are inclusive overall, but we don’t mind some tongue-in-cheek here and there. We can be sarcastic and flippant, but never scornful or insulting. We always laugh ‘with’ rather than ‘at’. Done well, this can go a long way; just don’t try and force it. There’s also no need to shy away from controversial/taboo topics. The art is in how you address them.

Style:

Basics

…borrowed from George Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’

  • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Some grammar things

  • We use Standard British English
  • When referring to publications, use italics
  • Indent quotations when they run over two lines
  • Link to original sources
  • Use contractions — they help with conveying an informal and friendly tone
  • Emojis should be used infrequently — they’re fun but can be obtrusive
  • Run it through Grammarly for any of those pesky mistakes you might have made

Numbers

  • Spell out numbers one to nine, and use the numeral onwards from 10.
  • Numbers should be formatted in English, ie. 10,000 rather than the European 10.000
  • Currency symbols should appear at the beginning of the amount, ie. $10 or €10

Need more ideas? Although you are not limited to these, here is more comprehensive list of topics you could write about:

Career Development:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Collaboration
  • Promotions
  • Feedback and reviews

Leadership:

  • Strategy and KPIs
  • Team management
  • Leadership skills
  • Organisational/team design

Career Search:

  • Different roles (ie. What is a cloud engineer, full stack developer explained, etc.)
  • Interviews
  • Resumes & CVs
  • Remote work
  • How to get a job/get hired
  • Salaries

Programming:

  • Agile framework
  • Front end development
  • Back end development
  • Programming languages
  • Open Source

Tech trends

  • Machine learning
  • Augmented reality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Privacy
  • Internet Culture

Work Life Balance

  • Work motivation
  • Burnout
  • Working from home
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Work life balance and happiness
Honeypot

Written by

Honeypot

We are a developer-focused job platform & co-organizers of @thegraphqlconf.

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