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17 Aug 2009, 23:32
Robin Newton (10 posts)

More specifically, expositional prose (as opposed to - say - API reference doco).

I think this is important in software development - analyzing complex situations and communicating our understanding. It is a skill that many of us have little natural aptitude for, but that we don’t commonly get much guidance on. Even in companies with document-heavy processes, the typical starting point will be a template document with blank sections that somehow have to be filled. Moreover, there are plenty of forms of communication (problem analyses entered in to bug-tracking systems, pages in internal wikis, email) which benefit from being well composed, but that are essentially free-form.

As to who I’d like to see authoring such a book, I’m not really sure. I was going to suggest Richard P. Gabriel - but I don’t think that would be quite right. Gabriel’s “Writing Broadside” was to do with writing conference papers, and a conference paper is some that will have a long gestation period, going through a number of revisions. But what we often need to do it to be able to write things well, quickly. Perhaps journalism is a better model than essaying.

07 Jul 2009, 06:23
Camal Cakar (28 posts)

A really interesting idea Robin. Fully agree with it :D

07 Jul 2009, 15:05
Derek Smyth (16 posts)

Hi yes I agree this would be a very good subject matter.

It could go even further and cover Reading, Writing, and Speaking. With Reading including some basic speed reading techniques, Writing being covered in the original post, and Speaking being techniques on how to prepare and present topics to non-technical and technical audiences.

08 Jul 2009, 05:52
Camal Cakar (28 posts)

This idea gets better and better :D

20 Jul 2009, 21:41
Robin Newton (10 posts)

I’ve been trying to dig up examples of the sort of thing I mean. These are the closest I can find so far: * *

04 Sep 2009, 14:39
Johannes Deutschland (18 posts)

This would be my next “Must-have” book. But its just a dream, right ?

12 Sep 2009, 15:58
Brad Hutchins (142 posts)

Actually excellent idea. Much needed. Hell people in the Tech industry don’t even bother with spell checking now a days.

30 Nov 2012, 08:39
Tommy Skodje (1 post)

Yes please! I’d love to read a book that would help me “write things well, quickly”. I might even consider buying it as a present for my coworkers :-) PragMag has been writing about writing on several occasions, so maybe Michael Swaine could author such a book?

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