Write Code to Write About Code

Joshua Otwell
The Shadow
Published in
3 min readApr 5, 2021

There are multiple fields within the Technical Writer profession one can explore. The same can be said for the Web Development field as well. How about where these 2 disciplines converge? What type of role is that? Where should the focus be placed if such a role exists? On the writing? Or the programming? These types of questions are a constant in my mind here lately and through writing and sharing this post, hopefully, you can help me answer some of them.

I seem to be at a crossroads.
To be perfectly clear, I am not working in either field full time, at the moment. But, I do want to work in one of them someday. And soon. I'm currently undecided on which one. Are you as well?

I'm referring to either writing code or writing about code.

I have a tough time choosing one over the other. Writing code or writing about code...

It certainly depends on my mood at the time, but one thing is certain: I enjoy both coding and writing about code on a daily basis.

For me, writing code and writing about code go hand in hand. One fuels the other. Each complements the other.

However, does one take away from the other? For the time you spend writing code, could you be better at writing about code? Vice versa?

What defines me?

Do you ask yourself these types of questions regularly? (I know I do)

  • Am I a developer who just likes to write?
  • Am I a writer who also likes programming and development?
  • Is a developer who likes to write and a writer who likes programming and development one and the same?
  • Can these fields coexist? (Is this a Technical Writer/ Developer Advocate / Developer Relations type of role?)
  • In exploring both field options simultaneously, are you selling yourself short by not focusing on just one of the disciplines?

Writing About Code

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Writing about code challenges your understanding of the subject at hand. You don't have to be an expert in the subject. You just need to know enough in order to explain the topic to someone who is a step - or 2 - behind you in their learning.

Joshua Otwell
The Shadow

SQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, and WordPress. Growing through Technical Writing and Blogging. Sign-up for my free developer newsletter here: openlamptech.substack.com