Guesswork, Hopes, and Fears

Blog » Guesswork, Hopes, and Fears

Posted on 05 Feb 2013 02:50

Last semester, when I took English 110, one of the first handouts I was assigned to read was about why engineers must write. The article spoke about how many engineers suffer when their boss asks them to write up a status report, as they (the employees) are only used to dealing with equations and the like. Their lack of writing skills hurts their job performance. I quickly agreed with the author, and realized how important writing is to almost any career.
I am currently a computer science major, and am specifically interested in computer programming. I have to admit, though, that I do not know so much about the field, nor have I researched it thoroughly. Nonetheless, I have always taken an interest in programming, how computer software and websites work, and so on. When I do reflect on what I know about the field, however, writing is never a topic that comes to mind. With that said, I will still asses how I think writing may work its way into the world of a programmer.
From what I do know, the main “writing”, so to speak, that professional programmers do is that of writing code that allows computers to run programs, software, and applications. This, though, is not the type of “writing” we are discussing. I would venture to say, then, that a programmer might be asked by his employer to write up a report on the status of a particular program. This report may include discussing current problems with the program and how they can be resolved, analyzing working aspects of the program and offering feedback on how it can be improved.
A well-equipped programmer, in my opinion, is one who is well versed in several programming languages (such as JavaScript, C++, Python, etc.), and knows how to utilize them to command a computer to run a program, fix a bug or a virus, create a totally original program, and the like. Professionals in the field must be able to constantly think in terms of a computer. I assume this knowledge and way of thinking would aid a programmer when he or she must get into specifics in a status report. The programmer might have to pinpoint which line of code has a problem and what exact coding to edit in. Again, all of this is speculation, as I have stated above. I have only just begun to learn coding from the online, user-friendly website
Reflecting back on myself as a writer, I tend to stray from the common, rigid format of technical writing. Last semester I discovered that I write best when I relate the topic at hand to my own personal experiences or views. In my papers, it is all about me. On that note, however, I do feel quite unprepared to take on this world of technical writing. I have always taken an interest to technology (which is partly why I aspire to delve into the field), yet I have always had to struggle when came to writing and researching about technology. It is in my deepest aspirations to break through this barrier over the course of the semester.

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