RE: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â

Subject: RE: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: 'Tony Chung' <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:21:55 +0000

Hi Tony,

I enjoy seeing how conversations instantly take on lives of their own and morph all over the place.

Somewhere in the thread, I thought I read that someone would prefer not to write code all day.

I found this amusing, because I was a programmer before I was a technical writer, and I quite enjoyed solving problems all day.

I became a technical writer because it was time to solve different problems.

Craig

From: Tony Chung [mailto:tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca]
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 11:07 PM
To: Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
Cc: TechWhirl (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com) <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â

Craig,
As usual, you struck a nerve and hit a hot button issue. This is starting to turn into a one-upmanship contest, which isn't quite what you intended. So I will instead post how I would respond to such a blatant misunderstanding of our profession.
Hello. I am responding to your request: "What we need is a developer who can write."
I know several developers, and all of them can write very well. They are clear, but they aren't concise. They can accurately document their API methods and properties, but they can't string together an end-to-end product use case, or a line of sample code that can demonstrate to newcomers how easy it can be to integrate your product with theirs.
This disconnect between developers has cost many software companies millions of dollars in potential sales because they hired "developers who can write" rather than "writers who can get into the minds of developers." In an interview, I could explain to you why your current developer-level documentation is preventing others from using your API to build useful products to change the world, and outline a 5-point strategy for revising your documentation to increase developer satisfaction and earn you more money.
However, if you would still prefer to speak to my developer-friends who can write, call me and we'll chat about them instead.
Sincerely,
Tony Chung
Information experience producer
with 'web Swiss-army knife skilz'



On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 8:13 AM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com<mailto:ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>> wrote:
Seen on the web: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â

Letâs take it as a given that as technical writers, we can write.

To increase our value, we need to learn addition skills, such as a programming language.

What other skills do you all have?

Iâll go first. I know basic HTML. I have edited code. I can edit sound and image files. A few other things, too.


Cordially,
Craig Cardimon | Senior Technical Writer
Marketing Systems Group

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References:
“What we need is a developer who can write.”: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: âWhat we need is a developer who can write.â: From: Tony Chung

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