Michal Zalecki
Michal Zalecki
software development, testing, JavaScript,
TypeScript, Node.js, React, and other stuff

Review: Writing for Software Developers by Philip Kiely

In September, I took two weeks off to enjoy some time in nature before the rainy autumn hits. Apart from the time for relaxation, the holiday for me is a good time to look back, draw conclusions, and plan something exciting that will keep my motivation afloat. I was looking for a book that will tap into my curiosity. Daniel Vassallo, who I follow on Twitter, tweeted about Philip Kiely's book: Writing for Software Developers. That's how I learned about the ebook and purchased it soon after.

Writing for Software Developers by Philip Kiely is based on the author's own writing experience and is supported by interviews with recognized technical writers. Including established authors was a smart move as they become the first to recommend the book. I have my blog (and ebook), so I thought it might be interesting to learn something about technical writing from more recognized authors.

I think I didn't even read the full sales page, so the fact that the book comes with an audiobook was a pleasant surprise. I post regularly on my blog, but it doesn't mean I do it often - just in more or less equal intervals. I wanted to know how I can improve my writing process, make my writing quicker so I can write more often. Learning how I can promote my blog so it can reach more readers was also on my radar.

In my subjective opinion, the book is heavily focused on the business of technical writing and working with publishers. Even though I've written a few technical articles that I've been paid for, this isn't the reason why I write. In my experience, technical publishers are well prepared to guide you through the entire publishing process anyway. I would benefit more from going in-depth about the process of technical writing instead. I still got a few new ideas, found out that I can improve, and about the routine, I could implement to write more.

I was a little disappointed with a chapter on promoting my writing. The chapter is more or less a list of places where you can post about your new articles and how it's different from others. I found very little success in promoting my articles this way. The vast majority of my traffic is organic (Google search). If we agree that technical writing is a business, I would imagine that you can spend money to make money, and some of your spendings go into paid advertising. Paid advertising of your work is not something you can learn from this book.

All in all, the purchase was worth it and time reading well spent. If you're a technical writer, I'm not sure there's a better single resource you can find on this topic.

Rating: 4/5

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash.