2 skills for the 100 years - Writing and coding

Sandro Maglione

Sandro Maglione

Writing

Writing and coding.

Writing to refine your ideas and better communicate with other people.

Coding to transform your ideas in concrete products that a machine understands and executes for you.

How my website is made

High leverage skills give you freedom in your work. I just released the new redesign of my website sandromaglione.com. The website has many moving parts: implementation, SEO, newsletter, performance, copy. I did all of it myself. Everything.

How? I leveraged 2 skills: coding and writing.

The website stands on 2 pillars: React Server Components and Effect. Notice how it’s not about the programming language. What matters is the infrastructure, the principles.

Writing may be even more important. I spent more time writing copy than coding.

That’s right. Let me repeat. I spent more time honing the message than writing code.

Guess what, I will probably need to update the copy more often than updating the code. Lesson: learn to write.

Future proof skill: effective communication

The future is oriented towards more and more technology, in every aspect of everyday life. At the same time, to create, maintain, and expand this technology human interaction will always be necessary.

This means that all jobs will stand on 2 pillars: understanding machines and understanding humans. In one word: communication.

I have seen this trend happen in the last few years. Jobs are all becoming about tech.

Some of my friends studied physics and math at university. All of them ended up writing code in their daily job.

At the same time everyone has to deal with people. Clear communication with colleagues is even more important than with machines.

Clear communication originates from clear thinking. Clear thinking is all about writing.

Your ideas are scattered dots in your head, without a defined structure. Writing is the process of connecting the dots.

Good news is that these 2 skills can be learned by everyone. For free.

  • Programming resources and tutorials are limitless on the web.
  • Writing is all about consistency and practice.

It may be simple, but it’s not easy.

Programming: learn the principles.

Don’t just learn 1 programming language. Learn the principles of programming.

I learned countless languages in my career. Each has a different purpose, but all have the same common patterns. Similar to my website, what matters is the end goal: a functional, maintainable, and performant website. Not the programming language.

Any program is an algorithm: a list of predefined steps executed in sequence.

The language is just the tool to execute the job. The job is defining the steps and properly glue them together. That’s it.

Writing: practice consistency.

Learn to write is even simpler: just write. Again, simple but not easy.

Concentration and consistency. You must learn to focus and avoid distraction to collect, organise, and write down ideas. You must learn to do this over and over again.

The rest is about refinement. Filling the gaps in your own understanding and restructuring your ideas in a more clear structure.

This process forges you: you defined precisely your ideas, you know how to argue for them, you know how to spot gaps, accept valid critiques, and refine even more. Getting better.


I am walking this path myself:

  • Getting better at writing
  • Explore and teach the principles of programming

Expect more about these 2 topics. The newsletter is scheduled every week on Wednesday.

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Every week I build a new open source project, with a new language or library, and teach you how I did it, what I learned, and how you can do the same. Join me and other 700+ readers.