[Note: This was the orginal post for my “professional” blog. It attempts to describe why I started a blog. It certainly wasn’t because I’m interesting.]

Or writing is hard, I should say. But “math is hard” is what one of my coworkers told me. I was trying to explain something technical (like how virtual memory works) when her eyes glazed over. I get that a lot. Anyway, she got some terms mixed up and said something like “so should I test the multiflange array for tacheon emissions?” Or something like that; I don’t really pay attention to the QA people. But her response to my laughter was “math is hard.”

Although math has never been all that hard for me, it did remind of what is. Writing. Being a software engineer I’m more used to communicating with computers in written form than humans. That means writing interesting specs or design documents or just communicating with coworkers is pretty difficult for me. Unfortunately submitting instructions via email to someone isn’t like writing a program to run on a computer. People don’t listen well and take exception to being called “buggy.”

Recently Joel Spolsky has been writing about the lack of good writing in the software engineering field. He’s asserted that good writing skills are essential to a software engineer’s career, and even compiled a book on what he considers to be good writing. Among his suggestions for engineers wanting to get better is something he calls “practice.” I decided to give that revolutionary idea a chance before Microsoft patents it.

So that’s the point. This is just practice. i.e. This is pre-alpha quality writing not meant to be used in a production environment. Use at your own risk, and keep all appendages inside the cart at all times.