The Case (and Solution) for Helping Your Developers Become Better Writers

“Everybody Writes,” as content guru Ann Handley points out in the title of her 2014 book. And while that simple statement couldn’t be more true, it’s something we often take for granted. That’s because we tend to associate writing with professional writers. Journalists, authors, tech writers — they’re the ones creating all of the content, right? Well no, not exactly. Lots of other people create content for public consumption too. But, that’s where things start to get tricky, especially if they’re not able to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely.

Developer First, Writer Second?

Developers are a prime example. If you think they only write code, you’re mistaken. The reality is that they typically have to write comments or annotations that get embedded in their code. Those comments are important. They provide the necessary documentation and instruction for others (other developers, product managers, small business owners, etc.) to be able to interpret and use the code. In fact, the comments explaining the code typically run much longer than the code itself.

If those comments aren’t clear, concise, and well-written, they can confuse everyone else who has to read them. That may not be an issue if you sit next to the person who wrote the comments and can ask questions. But that’s rarely the case. These days, so many products get shipped off to other companies, with their own teams, that crack them open for customization. For that to be a smooth, seamless process, the comments need to be error free, and easy to read and interpret.

Of course, that’s not always the case. Developers aren’t necessarily good writers. In fact, many aren’t even native English speakers. This begs the question, do you have to hire developers who know how to create great code and write effectively? Do you hire great coders and then go to the trouble of training them on how to become better writers? Or do you have your tech writers and editors review and correct all of the comments, which can be a costly and time-consuming process? None of these options is ideal.

Enabling Your Developers with Acrolinx

Fortunately, there’s a better way: You can embed Acrolinx into your workflows.

With Acrolinx, it’s like having an expert writer looking over your coders’ shoulders. Our platform reviews the text in your comments regardless of what programming language you’re using. It checks not just for spelling and grammar mistakes, but also for how clear and concisely the text is written. It also reviews for correct tone of voice.

It then scores the content and guides developers to fix any issues until it meets your standards. That means your developers get to focus on doing what they do best — coding — without you having to worry about the quality of the comments they’re writing. It also means that you don’t have to divert your technical writers and editors from doing their own work.

In a world where everybody writes, it’s important to make sure that you’re enabling them to do so as effectively as possible. When it comes to helping your developers work faster and more efficiently, all while creating a better end product, Acrolinx is just the tool they need.

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