DEV Community

Cover image for Why Writing is Important for Your Developer Career
Max Ong Zong Bao
Max Ong Zong Bao

Posted on • Originally published at

Why Writing is Important for Your Developer Career


When you first started to learn about programming.

Are you forced to learn to write documentation you are just given something to "write hello world"?

As I progress as a developer, it did not occur to me that learning to write is one of the most essential skills we need to learn as a developer.

As without it, tons of wasted hours of work is done.

Due to our lack of understanding and clarity in conveying it to people.

I encountered the same problem while I was trying to communicate to doing something.

Which resulted in a drastic difference in technical implementation when another developer was implementing it.

Clear Thinking

I remember while I was listening to one of the Tim Ferriss show.

He was interviewing one of the founders of Airbnb or Spotify on recruiting engineers for their startup.

The founder responded that he looks at other areas and not just the technical code that the engineer wrote.

Instead, it was the scribbles in the piece of paper to understand how they broke down and solve the problem.

As an engineer are hired based upon how they wrote on the solution before coding their first line of code.

Ease of Communication

The additional perk of writing well and clear is the need for back and forth exchange on what is to be implemented.

When you are communicating with the client or user.

I always love the idea of KISS so that you communicate your intent.

Even when someone does not have the background knowledge or context to understand the whole project.

Therefore I would advise that you strive to write for a layman.

Plus with the rise of tools like Grammarly.

It has become much easier to write better through the rapid feedback from either an actual person or AI to help you to write better.

Ripple Effect for the Community

If you are an API developer, one of the keys for API adoption is the existence of high quality documentation.

Which till this day, I love how companies like Twillio, Postman, DigitalOcean, Kong & Stripe.

Invest and place a premium in quality writing for their technical documentation.

Since without that, I believe they will be unable to attract new developers or convince development teams to use their product or services.

So that it allows me to get started by installing and using that package to accomplish a feature that I would like to deliver for my project.

Beside contributing code, you could always help through documentation.

To make it easier for someone to get started in using the software.

I did something similar when I was rewriting documentation for one of the Python guides in Freecodeamp.


I hope that you can gain a better insight and would be interested to learn to write well as a developer.

Instead, it is about the human problems we are trying to solve with the right context.

If you like this article sign up for my Adventurer's Newsletter for a weekly update in the area of Python, Startup and Web Development.

You can also follow me to get the latest update of my article on Dev

The original post was on Why Writing is Important for Your Developer Career - Reading Time: 3 Mins and cover image by Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Top comments (10)

cecilelebleu profile image
Cécile Lebleu

Since this article is all about writing, I wanted to give you a little bit of feedback. I've been following you for a few weeks and one thing I've noticed is that you tend to separate sentences into individual paragraphs. I would suggest instead joining related sentences into longer form paragraphs, giving more structure to related information and only giving the reader a break, less often, when the subject changes.

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Interesting I'll consider it in joining it together to make a longer paragraph.

It sort of reminds me of research papers with longer paragraphs. Nevertheless it's good feedback.

jorgepvenegas_4 profile image
Jorge Venegas


tammalee profile image
Tammy Lee

100% agreement!

You can be the most brilliant programmer in the world but if you cannot communicate your ideas and teach others to use what you built then are you really a big asset to your team?

Soft skills are important in tech.

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Yup as you progress in experience and knowledge.

You will find that soft skills like writing.

Plays a huge part to lead, manage and pitch to upper management to get things done.

ridaehamdani profile image

I am actually working on huge documentation about some best practices to deploy on the cloud. It is my first time writing this amount of pages in english. I made a lot of grammatical faults but I keep going and I try to learn new words and new grammatical rules each time.
Thanks for the article

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

Nice you can actually try reading On Writing Well & Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

ridaehamdani profile image

thanks I'll read them

perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

And of course you learn better about the things you write :)

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Yup, we do by documenting stuff.