We’re excited to feature another one of our authors, Carlos Schults, on the blog today. Carlos has mastered the art of easy reading; his posts are not only informative and useful but they’re also a delight to read. He crafts uniquely quotable sentences and charms his readers from start to finish with his personality and trademark cleverness.
Today, Carlos shares about his start in the tech industry and how his writing has improved over time as a Hit Subscribe author. He also imparts valuable advice and wisdom for software developers looking to improve their writing. Let’s hear what he has to say!
HS: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you started in the tech industry.
Carlos: I’ve always been fascinated with computers, science, and technology. I can’t remember a time in my life when I was not into those things. But I didn’t necessarily think of it as a career option, it was just something that I liked a lot. When I was about 17 years old, I enrolled in a software development course at a school in my hometown. When I compiled and run my first program (in Pascal!) I knew I was hooked for life. From that, I proceeded to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and I’ve been working as a professional software developer since then.
HS: When and why did you start writing for Hit Subscribe?
Carlos: I think it was in late 2017. I believe I belong to the first “wave” of authors, so to speak. Everything started after reading Erik’s book, Developer Hegemony. The book strongly resonated with me (despite being downright depressing at times—sorry, Erik! LOL) so I decided to join the Facebook group about the book and its thesis. There, I saw a post by Erik inviting people interested in writing blog posts to work with him on a new business called Hit Subscribe. I emailed him, saying I was interested in writing and the rest is history, as they say.
HS: How do you see writing? As a hobby, side-hustle, or passion?
Carlos: Probably all three of them.
HS: How has your writing changed since you started writing for Hit Subscribe?
Carlos: In several ways. For one, I think HS really taught me to write in short sentences and avoid passive voice like the plague. My writing is also less chaotic now. I gained a better understanding of how to structure a blog post. Additionally, I now always try to keep the notion of “helping someone solve a problem” front of mind when writing a blog post. Authors that are pure hobbyists usually just write about whatever they feel like that particular day. A professional author can’t afford that luxury.
HS: What advice do you have for those just starting out in the tech world?
Carlos: I’d give three pieces of advice for someone starting out. Number one: have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of computer science. Frameworks, languages and other tools are important, but without a solid understanding of the basics, you’ll always be a step behind. Second, pursue variety in your career. Try to work with different tech stacks, doing different kinds of projects, in different kind of companies. Last, teach other people. Mentor colleagues in your college. Start a blog. Go to local groups and offer to give a talk. There’s no better way to learn something than by teaching it to other people. Don’t think you don’t have anything to teach just because you’re a beginner. Everyone has something to offer.
HS: What advice do you have for software developers looking to improve their writing skills?
Carlos: Read a lot, write a lot. When reading a great piece, be it a blog post, a news story, or an academic paper, try to pin down why do you think makes that piece of writing so good. Take notes, analyze it, see if you can apply those properties to your own writing. Seek out feedback from more experienced people. If you can afford it, try working with an editor.
HS: Why do you think it is important for software developers to improve their writing skills?
Carlos: The idea of the lone, solitary programmer working in the basement is a myth. Software development is, now more than ever, a team effort. And one of the hardest challenges for any team is communication. Communication is so important and yet many programmers struggle with it, unfortunately. It doesn’t matter that your idea is the better one if you can’t convince anyone. It doesn’t matter how great your idea is for that new module if you can’t produce a spec that others can read and understand. Learn to communicate well, not only by writing, but also by speaking, and you’ll be at an advantage.
Thanks to Carlos for allowing us to feature him on the blog today! If you’re interested in having him write for your tech blog, you know where to find us. Or if you’re an author and want to enjoy some of the same benefits of writing that Carlos has, apply to be one of our writers!