Why You Should Start Writing, as a Programmer
Being a programmer isn’t all about coding, it’s also about proper communication with your peers.
Three years ago (2018) I started writing with one goal, to improve my English speaking and communication skills. As a developer who worked at a startup at the time, part of my daily routine would be to collaborate with business and marketing people, thus I needed to learn how to communicate effectively especially to my foreign co-workers.
If you can’t communicate your “algorithm” means nothing
Always remember that no matter how competent you are as a coder, there will be others who are better. The skill that will help you stand out above the rest is communication.
Explaining how tech works to non-tech people can be daunting at times. As a person of tech, there will always be several keywords that are untranslatable to others and at times we tend to just throw the word “algorithm” just because you either don’t fully understand what you’re working on or you just don’t know how to explain it to another person.
You have to be able to compare how an app’s feature works like how you’d eat a burger, yes I did that and my boss liked it. 😆
If you are that person in the team that can simplify things without having lost the important details, it will make or break your career.
What about your co-programmers?
Aren’t programmers also speaking in the same language as you? Don’t they also read and write code like you? Shouldn’t they be able to understand you without breaking a sweat? Well… No 😔
This is the reason why there are Code Reviews/Pull Requests, Flow Charts, Design Docs, and Code Comments. Each of us grew with our own bias on how we write code and working in a large team means that you’re working with people who have different skillsets and levels of experience when it comes to coding.
So what does it take to write?
Nothing really, you just have to sit down, stare at your screen, and let your hands do that jazzy thing. Your first article doesn’t have to be good, mine wasn’t even half-decent, but the important thing is that you started. Every journey starts with a single step.
But where do I start?
Write about something you’re passionate about, something you understand, or something you want to get better at. For me, this was Swift, the programming language, and the tech meetups I attended. It doesn’t even have to be about tech.
Do your research
When you start writing about something, you can’t just put what you understand about a specific topic. Sometimes what we understand isn’t necessarily true.
You have to verify whether or not what you’re talking about is correct. In turn, you get a deeper understanding of your chosen topic. Oh, and don’t forget to add references.
Read other articles and write-ups
I read somewhere that “imitation is the gateway to originality” some people might argue that “it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation” but as you imitate your idols you learn and find your own style. Just like what the great American poet once said,
“It’s my failure to sound like my heroes that’s allowed me to sound like myself.” — John Mayer
Learn from your mistakes
The worst fear you can have is the fear of failure. Success doesn’t come naturally, success comes after many mistakes. Mistakes are there so you can learn and improve, the mistake is not learning from your mistakes.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.” — Master Yoda
If you can find someone who can mentor you then that’s great! If you can’t, it helps to ask for feedback at the bottom of your write-up. If you want it to be anonymous you can create a feedback form using Google Forms.
There will be people who will look at you and tell you what you’re doing is a waste of time. Don’t listen to them, you’ll eventually get results.
As far as writing goes, I still have a long way to go. But looking back over the years I think my writing has definitely improved.
If you’re reading this, then you’ve reached the end. Cheers! 🍻
If you have any comments, suggestions, questions, or ideas for new blog posts leave a comment down below. 👇👇
Thank you for taking the time on reading my article. 🎉