Writing for Software Developers Launches Today!

Imagine a college student deciding that, for his first foray into journalism, he would write for The New York Times. Not some page-fifteen human interest story, but real front-page above-the-fold headline news. That would be ridiculous, right?

This metaphor, while exaggerated, captures the essence of my entry into technical content development. In my first year of writing technical tutorials, I published with companies like Smashing Magazine, Twilio, and FloydHub. I've sent articles from college dorm rooms and grungy summer sublets to top publishers who have helped me grow as a programmer and writer while distributing my work to tens of thousands of readers.

You can do the same. I like to think that I'm a decent writer and occasionally crank out some good code, but my success is more a function of the industry. The demand for well-crafted articles about technical topics far outstrips the supply. That means that you can write for the best in the business on your first try.

Alternatively, maybe you take the "indie" part of indie hackers seriously. Really seriously. While this book focuses on the process of writing and publishing with established publications, it is still full of useful insights for people working on product documentation, a personal blog, content marketing for your business, creating education products for software developers, or just trying to write a README that people actually read.

This book isn't just based on my own knowledge. I was lucky enough to interview 11 people as part of this project. Courland Allen (@csallen), Jeff Atwood, Chris On Code (@ChrisOnCode), Peter Cooper (@peterc), Angel Guarisma, Matt Levine, Mark McGranaghan, Patrick McKenzie (@patio11), Tracy Osborn (@tracymakes), Daniel Vassallo (@dvassallo), and Cassidy Williams (@cassidoo) granted fantastic interviews. The complete transcripts of every interview are in Appendix A, which at 45,000 words is like another book tacked onto the end!

I have been working on this book for almost six months and I am really excited to have people read it. I'm also proud to have hit my goal of launching before my (now virtual) college graduation. It is finals week, but I will still be around all day and happy to answer any questions about the process of writing this book.

Right now the book is 12 dollars off (launch pricing) and you can read chapter 1 for free at https://philipkiely.com/assets/files/wfsd_chapter1_sample.pdf


Thanks for Reading,

Philip Kiely

P.S. I'm also on Product Hunt and Hacker News if you want to check out the discussions there.

  1. 3

    Congrats on the launch! 🎉

    1. 1

      Thanks, and thank you for the interview!

  2. 1

    Congratulations on this Philip. Getting it out the door is major achievement.

  3. 1

    Cool! Uhmm.. Honestly I'm only interested in the appendix with the interviews. Any special offer for those? :)

    1. 1

      Starting about a month after launch, I will be releasing the interview transcripts for free on my site, one per week. As my 11 interview subjects gave me their time, it is only fair that I eventually pay it forward.

      1. 1

        whoah, nice. where do I sign up?
        edit: since you're giving it away I may aswell give you some background why i want this: I'm not going to get into writing in the sense you're into it, but I am a fan of Atwood and would love to read about his.. well whatever he says about blogs. Cuz his blog is really cool. In fact once I bought a book that was a summary of his blog. but it was outdated so I made an updated version of it: https://code.krister.ee/effective-programming-by-jeff-atwood-table-of-links/ (with his blessing of course).

        1. 1

          https://twitter.com/philip_kiely I will be posting them here when the time comes.

  4. 1

    Awesome work!

    I have done freelance technical blogging on the side for years, but I'm actually doing it as my main job this summer.

    In case you or any readers might be interested, I've been building a big list of freelance tech writing opportunities here:

    Also I'd love to chat in case you're interested in collaborating to get more work. I'm starting to get more demand than I can take so I'm referring other writers.

    1. 1

      This is amazing, I'm actually working on an associated project right now called whopaystechnicalwriters.com, where I have an early similar list up. Mind if I add your content? I also have too much demand and don't type fast enough to keep up, so I'm building the site to spread the love around.

      1. 1

        Congrats on the launch!

        I'm interested in what your plans are for whopaystechnicalwriters.com. Seems like a super valuable resource for your book readers.

        1. 1

          I hope to build it into a version of whopayeswriters.com but for technical content.

          1. 1

            Very cool. I'm working on a product that helps creators publish sites just like that. Would love to chat to you about it.

            Just picked up the book BTW.

            1. 1

              Thank you! Feel free to email me about your product. I am most likely going to be just finishing up the site I built in Django for WPTW but would be open to other ideas.

      2. 1

        Absolutely. I want people to be aware of the opportunities that are out there, so share away.

  5. 1

    So funny, today I thought "I really need to start a technical blog", first thing I see on indiehackers is this post :D

  6. 1

    Just saw [email protected]'s retweet of your tweet and remembered your name from your response to my google oauth screen post.

    Seems like you had a crazy successful launch day. Congrats!!

    Here's my question: How did you go about marketing your book for a successful launch day?

    1. 2

      I will be writing a very detailed post on that quite soon! For now, in brief, a carefully executed post on Hacker News and some key tweets from my interviewees.

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