Writing - An Essential Skillset for Advancing as a developer

A couple of years back, I had written a web app that integrated with major services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It showed everything that was happening on these services in a single place. It was a great way to keep track of what was happening on these services. Seems foolish, but it was just something I built for fun and learning purposes.

I started programming, and had some cool abstractions that I had created back then in order to unify the APIs. Recently, I wanted to check out those abstractions. I started to sniff through that codebase, and I had no idea how they were put together. Especially when you understand that I had built these with the legacy version of PHP. I was able to understand the code, but I wish I had done a better job documenting them.

XKCD Comic

Every developer has been guilty of this. Writing a peice of code, coming back to it a few months later, and not being able to understand what you were thinking.

This is the reason why you should always write. You should write more documentation than the actual code, and changes. Most of the bigger companies do this. Don't believe me? Have a look at theses commits.

Writing will help you put your thoughts succinctly. It will help you and others understand the code better. And it will not just help you with your code, but also with your communication skills. It will help you explain your ideas better, and help others understand them.