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.
- Write for our audience: Our audience are developers of all levels, from junior developers to CTOs.
- Be original: Originality is key. That doesn’t mean you have to find something which has zero results on Google, but…
- Step away from the buzzwords: Jargon-free is heaven, stay away from buzzwords as much as possible.
- 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).
- Me, myself and I: Talk from personal experience, make it understandable, and rubber duck the shit out of your article.
- How long should it be? Try and write for no less than 3 minutes reading time — that’s around 900 words.
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.
…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
- 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:
- Conflict resolution
- Feedback and reviews
- Strategy and KPIs
- Team management
- Leadership skills
- Organisational/team design
- Different roles (ie. What is a cloud engineer, full stack developer explained, etc.)
- Resumes & CVs
- Remote work
- How to get a job/get hired
- Agile framework
- Front end development
- Back end development
- Programming languages
- Open Source
- Machine learning
- Augmented reality
- Artificial Intelligence
- Internet Culture
Work Life Balance
- Work motivation
- Working from home
- Imposter syndrome
- Work life balance and happiness