In Writing for developers

How did your writing go in 2018? I hope you were able to create lots of content and sharpened your skills with each paragraph you created.
But let’s not linger in the past!
What will 2019 bring in the field of technical content writing? What new opportunities will await us and will it be your time to shine?

Coding writers are still rare and precious

The role of the developer is continually evolving. Technologies and requirements are becoming more complex, creating new demands for people working in the technical field. Because of this, new job titles jump into existence to cover various specializations—like DevOps a couple of years ago.
We still drift away from the concept of the jack of all trades programmers to developers with unique and in-depth knowledge and skills. One of these specialized areas is technical content writing. Of course, this isn’t new: Technical writers can be found in many companies, but the coding writer—a dev who’s also a tech writer—is a role that saw it’s appreciation only recently. People who are able to code and write about it are an indispensable asset for companies and their technical teams!

The world needs more IT writers

If you’re into writing documentation, tutorials, blog posts and the likes you should definitely think about becoming a coding writer in 2019 and enjoy versatile working days.
Over the last couple of months, I noticed the high demand for technical content writers. Not only for freelance writers but also for employees who love to code and write. Unfortunately, some companies struggle with finding candidates for this job: Some programmers don’t have time to write, and some do not like it.

But if you’re interested, you should finetune your writing skills to become a technical content writer. Your efforts will not be in vain, and you’re going to fulfill a significant role in your company!

Writing for employer branding

We all know a few organizations that are always looking for software engineers. Many developers can choose from an extensive list of employers to work for. That’s why employer branding is so important: Companies need to position themselves as attractive employers for programmers and have to build a rememberable reputation.

Content aimed at developers is an excellent way to show how a company works, what their devs are doing, with which technologies they work, what they do to support the dev community, etc. This requires someone who is familiar with working as a programmer, so the best candidates are either existing devs at a company or external writers who have a past in engineering.
Of course, employer branding is not only about creating blog posts, but online content can get the attention of prospects at any time.

We won’t see an end to the we-need-more-developers-problem any time soon (at least not here in Austria), and investing in your writing skills for this particular topic is definitely time well spent!

Technical content writing for different formats and platforms

A technical writer is known for being responsible for writing software documentation, operating manuals, and the likes. But there’s so much more to create: Tutorials, blog posts, informative videos, screencasts, interviews, podcasts and so on.

In 2019 and the years to come we will work with other formats and platforms as well—think about Virtual and Augmented Reality, Chatbots, new gadgets, and wearables. If there’s a need for technical content for those platforms, there’s also a need for a writer.

People using VR headsets in a museum. The future of technical content writing will heavily depend on new technologies and gadgets.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

Because those technologies are relatively new, best practices to follow don’t exist yet. That’s your chance to shine: Grab a niche, and become an expert! Let’s say you’re into VR—experiment with how to deliver content, what works best, and how to optimize the user experience. How can users learn with it, and how must the material be presented for the best effect?
Even if there’s no text in the final product, someone has to write something down first, like a script for example.

Be an expert in your niche

If the term technical content writer or coding writer seems too broad for you, it’s easy to narrow it down and specialize in a topic you feel best with. To become an expert in a niche, be one of the first people who spend their time experimenting with how to deliver content with it effectively.

What will the future bring?

Well, the future won’t be boring for us technical writers! Though AIs get better at writing content every day, I don’t think they are able to replace a coding writer any time soon. I believe writing is one of humanity’s most significant achievements and an easy way to express our thoughts and beliefs. We need to write to stay sane ;).

I’m very excited about the new technologies and gadgets we will see in the following years. What new ways of communication, teaching, and information exchange are we going to invent? How will we use them?
Stay up-to-date and don’t miss an opportunity to experiment!
And most importantly: Don’t forget to share your knowledge and learnings with the world!

Become a coding writer in 2019

If you’re thinking about becoming a technical content writer or want to write in addition to being a coder, today is a good day to start!
The world is becoming more technical every day, and new startups and IT Service Providers are being set up. Therefore we need more technical content.
Become an invaluable coding writer at your organization or a freelance writer—if you love writing and programming, this might be your best decision of the year ;).

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