Friday, 27 January 2012

Why Write A Blog?

There are many reasons to write a blog.  One of which is to get attention!  Another is share ideas..... and of course another is to get your voice heard.  And I'd like to add another to that list, I'd like to improve my English skills.

These days we have little reason to write "essays", in fact with facebook and twitter we are so used to just writing our thoughts and feelings in a simple sentence to be heard, but seldom do we write paragraphs and pages of our thoughts, expressions, and perhaps sometimes just our own pure waffle.  

Hand written letters are virtually unheard of now a days, yet when I was a student my main point of contact with the outside world (outside the student union that is!) was to hand write letters to my friends and get all excited when I would receive 7 letters in one day.  These days I barely email my friends, either I text them, comment on their status or of course see them!  I may be a geek but I get out and about too!

So, by now you may well be asking, why start now?  Why is keeping up your English skills so important in the world of micro blogging?  Especially to a Software Engineer.  Why would a Software Engineer want to improve their language skills?  Do I just work in the world of logic, maths, variables named 'a' and a bunch of computer statements, and such things that don't make much sense to those who don't understand 'code'?  Simply put no.

I work in the world of creating, using artist flare, almost poetic like writings, in order to not only tell the computer what I'd like it to do, but also the next person who comes to look at my code.  I feel it is of equal importance that the next reader of my work can understand exactly what it is I'm trying to achieve in my writings to the computer.

That's an important statement, as so many people fall short of remembering that we work as a team.  In a land of thousands and thousands of lines of programming code, why do we add more complexity than necessary?  Why do we feel the need to "encode" what we are trying to do? and why do we almost force someone else to figure out what we were thinking.  Why don't we just tell them?  

Are some of you out there currently thinking that I'm talking about comments?  Comments?  Comments should be banned!!  Comments are evil!  They are noise, sometimes inaccurate, sometimes confusing and sometimes just damn wrong!!  Sometimes left over from old code, that has since been deleted and left the code base.  They are rarely compiled and tested to ensure their accuracy.  And hey code isn't a foreign language, we shouldn't need to put in a little translation, we should make our code English and easily understood.  

As Software Engineers we should put in the effort to make sure our code can be easily read.  After all we read code 10 times more often than we write it.

So here we are...... the very reason I am starting to write my blog.  To be able to practise my communication skills, where I don't need to worry about a misplaced ; or a missing end } - which to be fair with such advanced IDEs these days who needs to concern themselves with such trivialities?

First practise over..... xxx

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