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Khloe Brown
Khloe Brown

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#CNC2021: Write More - PRE-MISSION

Introduction

Hello, Hello 👋 I am Khloe Brown. This is the first part of a series of posts for the CodeNewbie Challenge for 2021: Write More. I took up this challenge for the opportunity of a dedicated and accountable project to aid myself in a subject I was never strong in but was something I needed to do more for both my personal life and my tech/code life: writing. I’ve been looking for a right time and place to start writing articles on the platforms I use everyday to get my say in. Now is my chance to really practice and learn how to write more.

Mission Overview

The first mission of the #writemore challenge is actually a “pre” mission. Coders are challenged with researching and reviewing three tech blogs - one from each of a given category. There are three common types of tech blogs we were tasked to find: tutorial, explainer and project.

  • A “Tutorial” blog is when an author instructs a reader step-by-step of how to do something. These blogs usually cover specific programming languages or individual components or features of a bigger application or website. Live demos, screenshots and code snippets are typically included in these blogs so readers can see what the result should be during important steps. Another name I would give this kind of blog would be a “procedure” blog.
  • An “Explainer” blog is when an author gives a detailed overview of a certain topic. These blogs will often include examples in concept and real-world uses to help a reader understand it. An explainer blog doesn’t have to be on a certain language or tool, it can be on anything that you will use, encounter, or overcome as a coder. Another name I would give this kind of blog would be a “concept” blog.
  • A “Project” blog is when an author goes over a project they created or were in part of a creation. These blogs usually include procedures and concepts as they go into great detail of how and why specific languages, tools, frameworks, and more are used in a project. A project has both a “how” and a “why” meaning to itself so I would consider this type of blog a sort of mash-up to a “Tutorial” and “Explainer” blog.

After finding your three articles, you are tasked with recording three things you like about the article and three things you would do differently. Just reading the article isn’t enough to help yourself write better. It’s helpful to analyze and nit-pick the smallest details to learn how and why the author wrote their article.

The Work

Tutorial Article

The article I chose for my “tutorial” article is “How to Write More Effectively and Develop Your Unique Style” (article link) written by Colby Fayock (portfolio link).

The three things I liked are:

  • I loved the quote: “Writing is a way to teach both others and yourself. While it may be obvious that writing out a tech guide is helping to teach an audience, you're also reinforcing your own learning. Documenting your experiences both provide a way to dig deep into what you've learned and also have a way to reference it in the future.” It resonated with me of why I’m blogging in the first place, to teach others what I know and learned while also documenting my journey to becoming a better developer and person.
  • I liked how the author is knowledgeable about the content of writing articles and provided examples of different techniques as they explained their importance. I feel I would write very similar to the way the author writes. Their way is like a teacher giving smaller, important details to a class on a new subject.
  • Overall, I liked the information, examples and tips the article gave on the subject of writing online. I learned a lot in a simple and easy way. I will definitely refer back to this article many times.

The three things I would do differently are:

  • I would make the included media in the article much easier to see and understand as it gets lost (to me) within all the text and blank background.
  • I would make the headers and subheaders different other than sizing as I couldn’t tell where one section ended and another one started. I would perhaps use prefixes like “Section: “ or “Part” for the main points or use numbers for lists of sub-points. *I would include good and bad examples of the tips the author provided to show “real-world” examples of what not to do and what to do. I believe it would help in a subject such as improving writing skills.

Explainer Article

The article I chose for my “explainer” article is How to Become a Technical Writer” (article link) written by Edidiong Asikpo (profile link).

The three things I liked are:

  • I liked the introduction of the article with a solid explanation of what the article is about and why the author wrote it. The introduction felt very natural and easy-going from an expert and professional.
  • I liked the board yet important spectrum of information to consider and discuss with the article topic. There was a lot to take in but it all made sense of why it was included and was in a good order as well.
  • I liked how after a main point, the author asks a question to transition into the sub-points.

Two Things I would do differently:

  • I would organize the information into clearly labeled sections of information. There was a lot of information to take in and I would jump around to read different sections.
  • With all the text included, I would include images or some sort of media to break up the blocks of text. This could work well with the organizing of the sections.

Project Article

The article I chose for my “project” article is “How I Built My Blog” (article link) written by Josh Comeau (portfolio link).

The three things I liked are:

  • I liked the general way of writing of this article. The words, sentences and phrases are very natural and organic. This article seems lighthearted, genuine and coming from a friendly and knowledgeable source.
  • I liked the use of code snippets when the author explains different code languages they used for building their blog. They kept the look clean and easy to read while also labeling what language the snippet is written in.
  • I liked the use of hand-made images to explain parts of the article. I would use my own drawn images in my articles as well to match my branding, personality and really make my article my own to stand out.

The three things I would do differently are:

  • I would change how some of the phrases and explanations are written. They’re not bad or useless but not how I would explain some concepts to a reader.
  • I personally explain things in different, simpler terms than the author of the article. I aim to use everyday terminology alongside the technical terms as my audience is both programmers and everyday people. Some of the explanations are not as in-depth as I would go for the more complex concepts.
  • I would break down the longer sections into smaller parts with subheaders and main points as some sections were too wordy and technical for me to stay engaged.

Summary

I am really enjoying the work and the challenge this well, challenge is giving me to critically think about the mission tasks as well as my own writing. I’m starting to watch and learn about many things I haven’t considered too much such as: my writing style, proper grammar, constructive editing, and keeping my writing simple, understanding and coherent to the subject matter.

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