Applying On writing well to coding

by Venkat Subramaniam

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I recently listened to an audio CD from William Zinsser. It is his narration of “On Writing Well.” In it he
talks about and provides some solid advice on how to write a non-fiction. He presents four simple principles
to make an effective writing: clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity.

While I listened to the tape my mind, as usual, drifted off to think about coding. It occurred to me how
relevant these principles are not just to writing but to coding, that one act that we as programmers perform
several hours a day.

Mr. Zinsser is specifically talking about writing books, articles and memoirs. It is true that coding is
different from writing an article. However, there are similarities as well. In both we are expressing our
ideas in written form. ... more on this at

What's your though on coding well?