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#1 elecreativity  Icon User is offline

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How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

I'm very interested in knowing how much writing is required for computer enginneering,
or those working in the computer field. I'm trying to be one myself!!

If writing is required..
2) What kind of things do you write? (Codes, Reports, Descriptions, Papers)
3) In your writing is there a specific goal, or purpose? What format do you follow?
4) How is your writing evaluated? Who reads and looks over it?
5) What do you gain personally from writing? (Do you get better at writing, do you enjoy it?)

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Replies To: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is online

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

That's like asking "How much writing is required in any job?". Its going to be different for every company, and every job description.

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2) What kind of things do you write? (Codes, Reports, Descriptions, Papers)

Did you really just ask "As a software engineer do you write code?"

In one company you might be the only developer or part of a small 3 man team. That means you write everything: API documentation, the manual for the applications you build, the press release for the website.

In another company you might not write anything because they have people that specialize in those tasks.

But no matter what you had better write good, detailed and comprehensive in-code comments! There is nothing worse than opening up someone else's code and having no comments about what the code is doing, the principles behind the algorithm in use... and heaven forbid you use stupid variable names like a, b, c and don't explain that a is the user first name, b is the user age and so on.

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 02 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

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#3 DarenR  Icon User is online

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:37 AM

1. As a software engineer I personally comment code a hella lot. Reports not so much but then again my company is very different than most others.

2. I write code (alot of code) Vb.net/javascript/html/xsl/sql etc.

3. everything has a goal in writing or why bother doing it

4. No one reads what I write, it is strictly for my information except for my code comments --- those are there so others know what the code does.

5. I use my writing to keep track of what I am doing.

This post has been edited by DarenR: 02 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

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#4 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

View Postelecreativity, on 02 November 2012 - 04:27 PM, said:

I'm very interested in knowing how much writing is required for computer enginneering,
or those working in the computer field. I'm trying to be one myself!!

If writing is required..
2) What kind of things do you write? (Codes, Reports, Descriptions, Papers)
3) In your writing is there a specific goal, or purpose? What format do you follow?
4) How is your writing evaluated? Who reads and looks over it?
5) What do you gain personally from writing? (Do you get better at writing, do you enjoy it?)


2) Most of our documentation at work is on a central wiki, so I spend a lot of time updating that. I write code, but writing code is not really the same as 'writing' in the traditional sense. I don't write any papers. Occasionally I write or review management documents. Yesterday I got approached to write a book for a publisher, but that is outside of my work, and something has come out of writing on my technical blog.
3) When writing technical documentation, you have to put yourself in the mind of the intended audience, and try and explain clearly to them, what they want to know about any given subject. Usually I end up writing a series of steps to solve a particular problem, or install some software.
4) Other members of my team, particularly more junior members or new starters, will read through and hopefully gain insight from what I've written. If they have any feedback they will typically add it to the same wiki page, and that way a comprehensive document will be built up.
5) I enjoy it a lot, and usually volunteer to do as much technical writing as possible, as I've always liked both coding and writing. A lot of developers don't like documentation, and so I get to write quite a bit of it.
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#5 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is online

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

View Postelecreativity, on 02 November 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:

I'm very interested in knowing how much writing is required for computer enginneering,
or those working in the computer field. I'm trying to be one myself!!

If writing is required..
2) What kind of things do you write? (Codes, Reports, Descriptions, Papers)
3) In your writing is there a specific goal, or purpose? What format do you follow?
4) How is your writing evaluated? Who reads and looks over it?
5) What do you gain personally from writing? (Do you get better at writing, do you enjoy it?)


1) You implied "1)". I dislike this. Writing is required for anything, no matter what level of computer-user/developer/engineer/architect/demolitioner that you may be.
2) Everything you listed, including both User Manuals and Developer Documentation Screen Catalogs.
3) Make it clear to the intended audience.
4) Usually the supervisor or intended audience reviews it for meeting the purpose.
5) The more I program, the worse my "writing" gets. In this day and age, no one around me "writes", we "type". Personally all I do is increase my professional language, wording, and phrasing, along with my WPM (which started in college at 100WPM & +/- 2Errors without a warm-up).
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:00 AM

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2) What kind of things do you write? (Codes, Reports, Descriptions, Papers)

Yes.. to all of those and add: presentations, support emails, process explaination emails, technical help documents, occasional creative contributions, updates, alerts, project anaylsis, post mortems, project planning, software design specifications, maintenence documentation, etc.

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3) In your writing is there a specific goal, or purpose? What format do you follow?

Typically it is to convey some sort of specific point - be it educating the users on an upgrade, explaining to myself - six months to three years down the road - why I decided on project path X, Y, and Z. Also it is for information gathering, completeness of specs, and translating the ephemeral into agreeable specs everyone can sign off on.

Format? I try and keep it MLA.

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4) How is your writing evaluated? Who reads and looks over it?

Everyone.. my cube neighbor, boss, guy over in accounting, directors, VPs, occasionally the cleaning staff, and myself six months to three years later.

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5) What do you gain personally from writing? (Do you get better at writing, do you enjoy it?)

Future proofing, information persistence, and state encapsulation is what it is there for.

Personally? A sense of smug satisfaction I have hard proof of what was going on in the here and now. Also a large dislike for poorly worded and horribly vague posts. I wish I could pour digital gasoline on it, set a spark to the pile, and dance around the blaze like a wild Injun.

Do I get better? I guess - more like better at knowing how to tailor specific messages to specific groups.

Yes I enjoy it.

If anyone else is curious on different answers.
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#7 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:44 AM

Enough to know that it's just engineer, and not engineerer.
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#8 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is online

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Re: How much writing is required if you're a computer engineerer?

Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:52 AM

View Postlordofduct, on 05 November 2012 - 07:44 AM, said:

Enough to know that it's just engineer, and not engineerer.


Good catch! Can't believe I missed that! :sweatdrop:
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