PyCon 2016 in Portland, Or
hills next to breadcrumb illustration

Wednesday 1:10 p.m.–1:40 p.m.

Write an Excellent Programming Blog

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

Audience level:


Writing rewards you and benefits us all: when you write you refine your thinking, share your knowledge, and connect with your niche community. This talk describes the special challenges of writing a programming blog. It outlines solid article structures, and offers methods for generating ideas and writing more skillfully. Get the guidance and inspiration to craft articles of enduring value.


It’s a gift to us all when you share your knowledge by writing about it. It benefits you, too: being known as an expert or a cogent explainer helps you get your patches accepted by projects, get talks accepted by conferences, get users, get a job. Besides, writing teaches you to think: there’s no test of understanding so rigorous as writing an explanation. I’ll present five kinds of writing, with examples from the best programming articles: stories, arguments, how-tos, how things work, and reviews. For each format I’ll discuss its structure and suggest ideas for what you could write about, and share some do’s and don’ts. If you want to write but haven’t chosen a topic, or don’t know how to approach it, this will get you started. Once you get started, how do you improve your writing? By emulating the best bloggers and the best posts. I’ll share examples and discuss what makes them excellent. Learn how to reach your audience, get inspired, and craft articles of lasting value.