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When not writing in Bash, Perl, Python, and Ruby we write in English: Writing Tips

By Brian Dillon
June 15, 2012

It is as important for our team to improve our skills writing for humans as it is writing code for computers, says our CTO Jon Jensen. He’s right. Thankfully he had a good list of tips for us to make our human writing as effective as our code.


Here are a few great gems:

  • Don’t be afraid of bullet-points ;-)
  • Keep it short
  • Understand your audience

Jon’s recommendations led to some End Pointers to share writing tips of their own:

  1. Use the final thought of your first draft in the beginning of the final message
  2. Writing out a lot, and cutting down 90% of it
  3. When it comes to emails: Lay out clear actionable steps you want a person to take in the beginning or in the last sentence of an email, not buried in a thick paragraph.
  4. For important, longer documents, do editing the day after
  5. Always re-read anything before you send it
  6. Reading what you’ve written out loud is great way to catch mistakes
  7. Have the wisdom to know when not to reply or send something
  8. Don’t be afraid of using the phone if your thoughts aren’t concise enough for an email

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