re: I created @ThePracticalDev and dev.to, ask me anything! VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

After reading so much content over the year (since dev.to was created), what, in your opinion, makes for a good technical blog post? What are the characteristics of strong technical writing? Are there any patterns or themes that you've seen emerge in the blog posts that you've enjoyed the most or learn a lot from?

 

Firstly, I think variety in styles and goals is ideal, so characteristics can vary, but here are a few thoughts:

  • Good posts let the author's personality come through. I love reading @_theycallmetoni posts like this one, which are far from generic. Sometimes in the technical part developers can forget how much us humans relate to one another in human ways. Let your personality shine through.
  • Good posts aren't usually trying to come up with wholly original ideas. It's fine if it works out that way, but if you try to come up with something nobody's ever said before, you run the risk of spewing esoteric bullshit. There's no shame in putting your own spin on a subject that's been touched on by others.
  • Good posts have the right title. This is where you express your value proposition to the reader. It's hard to do, but I see a lot of overly cryptic titles. (But yours are good 😁)
  • Good posts don't bury the lede all the way at the end.
  • Good posts get published! This is the hardest part for many people, but it's worth publishing your stuff, even if it's not perfect. On dev.to, we work hard to maintain an environment where you're not going to be ripped apart for not being perfect, so hopefully that helps.

I'm really not sure I expressed everything perfectly here, but that's what comes to mind. Thanks for the great question.

 

I see Dev.to mostly publishing technical posts (frameworks, concepts, techniques, etc.), but I've also seen a few of the "Programmer Life" type posts (burnout, mentoring, etc.).

Is there a particular mix of the two you're looking for? Do you want the submissions to be heavier on the technical or is it more dependent on what the community is offering?

I ask as a not entirely disinterested party - if it's the sort of thing you'd like to see, I'd like to submit a more tightly written summation of a blog series I recently started.

Think of the audience as programmers (as opposed to "tech" like startups and venture capitalists and that sort of thing) but otherwise posts do not really have to be technical at all as long as they might help someone. I wrote a post about fitness which really didn't have anything to do with code, but was directed at programmers and the things we deal with in our careers/life.

So I'd say the technical/non-tech isn't as important as knowing the audience. If you are an experienced programmer with a story to tell, it's definitely appropriate. Just use titles that express the value of the post.

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