Thursday 16 July 2009

My First Published Articles

Today the postman delivered the July 2009 issue of C Vu - the magazine of the ACCU. In it features two pieces by yours truly :-) Okay, so these aren't a couple of earth shattering discoveries about modern software development, but a couple of reviews. The longer review is of the 2009 ACCU Conference back in April, and the shorter is of the ACCU London meeting in May which featured Jeff Sutherland.

I guess the reason I'm more than a little pleased with myself is that I find writing hard. This is exemplified by the fact that I got U's for both my English Language and Literature O'Levels. For those of you unaware of the English school system, O'Levels were the exams you took at 16 - now called GCSE's. You were graded from A-E, with U covering everything below an E. The standing joke from my fellow classmates was that you got an E just for writing your name on the paper! An English language O'Level of grade C or above is pretty much required for any form of higher education in England so I had to retake until I got one... and I did the following year thankfully.

Once I left University I was glad to leave all that writing malarkey behind, I thought that Computer Programming was a great career where I would never have to write essays again. Somehow I managed to avoid any sort of formal writing for over a decade, with class descriptions in UML models being the largest paragraphs I wrote.

But this all changed when I switched jobs a few years ago. The company I joined required me to write some formal documentation for the Build System and other processes I had developed. The documents were painful to write but I actually found myself enjoying it, probably because I was writing about something that I actually liked and knew about. The distributed team structure also meant that email was the main form of communication and so constant writing started to become the norm.

I still find writing very hard and so I started this blog in the hope that it would help me improve my skills further. So far I'm still enjoying the process (probably because blogging allows me to talk about, well, me :-). Perhaps I would have got that English O'Level a little quicker if blogging had been around when I was at school...

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