This editorial was originally published on Jan 11, 2011. It is being re-run as Steve is on vacation.
I think that one of the most valuable skills that someone in technology can have is the ability to communicate with others. It doesn’t matter whether you write code, rack servers, or sit in meetings with business people, it is important that you find a way to express clearly what you want, need, or would expect from someone else. If you can’t, you will find that you often struggle to get anything accomplished in an efficient manner.
It’s possible that you can get by with verbal communications in many instances, but it seems that so much gets done by written communications of some sort. Especially these days where it seems that so much of the interaction between people takes place through email, IM, or even Twitter. We are constantly using some form of written text to convey information between each other.
However it seems that many people don’t place a premium on building better writing skills. When I talk to many people at SQL Saturdays, most of them are hesitant to try something like blogging. The most common complaint: I hate writing.
But we have to do it constantly at work and working on your writing skills will not only help you to communicate better, but it will also help you learn to better organize your own thoughts. You will have a better understanding of the logical thought process, which might even help you build better code.