Today on the blog, we’re featuring another one of our authors, Mark Henke. Because of his breadth of experience that includes DevOps .NET, SQL Databases, and JavaSpring, he’s able to write about a wide range of topics. He’s a lifelong learner that’s always up for a challenge, and we love having him on board!
In today’s post, Mark shares what writing is to him and why he thinks developers should write more than just code.
HS: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you started in the tech industry.
Mark: I was curious about software in high school, so I joined some classes. I had the tendency to finish the problems early and jump around, helping people finish the assignments. Sometimes I would play around with something I was curious about. This curiosity never left me.
As I entered the field after college, I learned about TDD and taught myself how to do it. Most of my early career was based on mistakes in overdesign and over-engineering. But I took these lessons as learning experiences and was able to apply them to become adept in line-of-business application and system design.
HS: When and why did you start writing for Hit Subscribe?
After drinks with Erik and Amanda. Well, to be honest, I wasn’t drinking, as my wife and I had a baby on the way. We met at a gathering of a company with which we Erik and I had a mutual acquaintance. It was a good time, and Erik sparked my curiosity about other paths a developer may tread than basic generic employment.
HS: How do you see writing? As a hobby, side-hustle, or passion?
Writing is mostly a hobby to me, but it’s a little more too. I don’t write enough to make a “quit your job” side income out of it, but I enjoy it. There are always different challenges, be it an unfamiliar topic or a different writing style to try. It’s not only a hobby but also a door to other opportunities. Beyond that, many of our customers have tools that relate to what I specialize in. This lets me brush up and refine my knowledge and my ability to explain things to others.
HS: How has your writing changed since you started writing for Hit Subscribe?
It’s become a little more refined. I think I lean more into my voice than I did at first. Every writer has their own voice, and Hit Subscribe is great at letting that show through. I also take a more structured approach than I used to. This has helped me write more smoothly.
HS: What advice do you have for those just starting out in the tech world?
Learn how to talk to your boss. Become a trusted partner with your boss. Understand the things they care about and need. Why? Because the boss has the budget, and they’ll invest in things they find valuable. So if you want to do something, figure out how it has value to your boss. Software development is a lot more than “write code good.”
HS: What advice do you have for software developers looking to improve their writing skills?
Find an excuse to write more than code. This could be a personal blog. It could be emails to your boss or business stakeholders. Ensure that you have people you respect with the expertise to review your writing. Take the mindset of a continuous learner, where every piece of feedback is a gift. Learning to write will do more for your career and salary than being the best “codeslinger” around.
HS: Why do you think it is important for software developers to improve their writing skills?
Similar to my above advice, learning to write increases our ability to frame things in a way that people with money to invest will find valuable. You will find many more opportunities and potential salary open to you if you can articulate to management, make pitches, frame ideas to the right audience and more. Writing is a great way to practice these skills.
Thanks to Mark for allowing us to feature him on the blog today! If you’re interested in having him write for your tech blog, let us know! Or if you’re an author and would like to enjoy some of the same benefits of writing for us that Mark has, apply to be one of our writers.