Avocado with a heartbeat

Important efficiency lessons when writing for devs! ✍️

Aldin Kiselica

Pretty much everyone working in a dev-facing industry is bound to be to the point, at all times.

Yes, many of us were developers, and plenty still are.

Whether you are coding, demoing, talking, writing. Whether you are drafting a CFP, or pull request comment… At all times, you need to be clear and concise.

It takes a LOT of practice.

Approach breakdown

Becoming a to-the-point communicator requires more than skill; it demands a strategic approach.

While I’m still improving this skillset, here are some of the lessons learned, and fundamental pillars uncovered:

Man in disbelief

A shocker, right?

Common sense - all of it. But as common sense as it is, the common sense itself is not so common.

While practicing is self-explanatory, the rest of the list calls for further elaboration.

Learning from the best: Absorbing tips and insights

top7 dev.to

Dive into the content of your niche leaders.

Extract insights, not to imitate, but absorb the most effective communication principles.

What captivates their audience? How well-structured is their content? How do they balance brevity with depth? The questions that will guide your evolution as a dev writer.

While everyone has a unique style, the basics of communicating efficiently remain consistent.

Tooling excellence: Choosing the right hammer

Nokia hammer

What’s the hammer anyway? Anything that helps you stay productive.

* Copy

I use ChatGPT a LOT. Yes, a LOT.

Is what you’re reading a product of it - no. I fine-tune my prompts a lot. Then I fine-tune its results. And add a bit of soul.

Can’t leave you with the in the realm of speech and just sign my name next to it.

* Visuals

I use Canva for my visuals. Add a little bit of flick just to catch your attention while scrolling.

Unless it’s a meme, then no tooling, just simple C/P.

* Code snippets

This one depends really. DEV.to has it’s built-in way of handling code. BUT, sharing code that might be changed is better from a place that can has a version control - for example GitHub Gist

Remember, it’s not about the number of tools but their effect in enhancing efficiency without compromising on the quality of your message.

Different platforms, different approaches

Adapt or fail

Dev writers often find themselves toggling between blogs, forums, subreddits, X, hacker news, and LinkedIn.

It’s crucial to recognize that these platforms require distinct approaches.

Not just the obvious ones (like X or LinkedIn) where structure and the length of the message are even more important than the message itself.

The depth of technical insight will vary. The tone and the structure will vary for sure. Tailor your content to meet the expectations of each platform.

In storytelling pieces, keep the story clear. In tech blogs, delve into the technical intricacies. In tutorials, explain like you’d want to be explained.

In all cases, keep it clear and clean. Yes, keep a structure that’s easily read. And yes, don’t ever compromise the quality for structure. Let your experiences shine through with in-depth discussions.

And most importantly, reuse the same topic across different platforms whenever applicable.

Let’s wrap

Efficiency in writing isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. A journey marked by a commitment to continuous improvement, and an understanding of your audience.

Earlier today, I wrote a LinkedIn post about the same topic, yet completely differently.

Tomorrow I might start a forum discussion about it, or record a video of me explaining these things more visually.

The point is, you’re the master of your ideas. Don’t let them restrict you to one form only if your audience is in more than one place.

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