[Oldletter #16] Thinking through writing, building a developer community and software business strategies

Every Friday, I’m sharing a short list of evergreen articles/resources broadly related to software engineering that wouldn’t typically get shared in most tech newsletters or social media feeds.

  • Key practices for achieving large professional goals (2019) by Stephen Kuenzli. My first reading of this inspirational piece on Stephen’s experience of regularly publishing his writing was what motivated me to start doing the same. The “thinking through writing” practice is now integral to almost everything I do professionally.

    Developing your thoughts and a clear position in a written form that you are comfortable with people reading and using as the basis of a discussion is a terrific quality bar for those thoughts.

  • Building a developer community (2020) by Alex DeBrie. Alex discusses the three strategies of Micro, Macro and Network for growing a developer community. But many of the lessons here are also relevant to individual developers wishing to share their knowledge with others.

    • Micro: Directly help individual users to build empathy and find pain points
    • Macro: Write long-lasting, evergreen content to share knowledge more broadly
    • Network: Encourage members in the community to create content and use your megaphone to amplify them
  • Developer’s Guide to Tech Strategy (2020) by Shawn Swyx Wang. Great overview of the different business models of software and why developers should seek a deeper understanding of these.

    Your understanding of the business you’re in allows you to offer suggestions and prioritize work in alignment with economic opportunity. It may not feel like much, but as the person closest to the code, you have a tremendous amount of autonomy to the final experience delivered.

Submitting your recommendations

If you’d like to share an evergreen article/book which has significantly influenced your thinking or practice around software delivery, please email it through to me and I’ll add it to my backlog for sharing in future editions.

Have a great weekend!

— Paul

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