The Ruby Rogues

The Ruby Rogues podcast is a panel discussion about topics relating to programming, careers, community, and Ruby. We release a conversation with notable programmers and Rubyists each week to help programmers advance in their careers and skills.

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RR 301 Writing for Developers


Writing for Developers

Brian Hogan has been writing and teaching about technology. He found that many of the great teachers taught from experience. Similarly, developers can help one another by writing a post or a book about a particular issue they've encountered and solved. Tune in to today's episode about writing for developers.

Pay it Forward

Writing enables developers to communicate better, document better, and help one another become better developers. There are lots of writing opportunities available.

Charles recalls the time he wrote blog posts during his early years as a programmer. He wrote about the errors he experienced and how he fixed them. The posts received the most traffic in his site.

“Just by doing that, you have that moment of clarity that you can explain it to somebody else and that you can save them some time.” -Brian Hogan

Brian encourages developers to write as well. He recalls searching for a solution about a Ruby and SSL issue. It only took him 5 minutes to find the exact solution he needed. According to him, writing is an easy way to pay it forward to the next person.

What's In It For Me

Finding a solution was difficult particularly before the internet became widely available. It typically took weeks to assemble a line of code. David shares how written data, such as blog posts, have saved lives.

“They're going to buy it because you've made a very clear connection on how you'll solve their problem.” -Brian Hogan

Brian has coached a lot of passionate writers. The first thing he always advised them to do is give a reason why people should care about their articles and tell how it will make them better. He believes that written content becomes more effective after sufficing those two areas of concern.

Connected and Engaged

You don't want to write for nothing. You want people to care about what you've written. You could end up demotivated when you don't see any improvements brought by your work.

This is why it's important to connect with the reader. According to Brian, you need to: know your audience, determine how to solve their problem, identify what you want them to understand, ensure overall content is united, and get your readers engaged. The same applies regardless of whether you want to write a book or a simple post in Github.

To hear more about how to teach and learn through writing about your successes, download and listen to Writing for Developers. Feel free to contact Charles if you want to know more about Ruby Rogues podcast. He surely loves to hear from you!

Charles' Twitter account

If you’re short on time, here are the highlights of Writing for Developers:

Ways to find a solution? (3:45)

Importance of presentation? (9:13)

Why writing and speaking aren't soft skills? (15:06)

The writing process? (18:49)

The value of a post? (24:43)

Insights on different writing tools? (28:00)

Maintaining and publishing posts? (39:48)

Piece of advice? (48:43)

Picks:

Brian: On Writing Well book, Keys to Great Writing book, The Artful Edit book

David: DEWALT Reciprocating Saws

Charles: 17 Hats, Google Spreadsheets

This episode is sponsored by

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