Monday, May 11, 2009

Internet writing is important

A recent report on Writing, Teens and Technology found that 83% of parents of teens feel there is a greater need to write well today than there was 20 years ago. Eight six percent of teens ages 12-17 believe good writing is important to success in life -- some 56% describe it as essential and another 30% describe it as important.

Employers confirm the importance of writing on the job. Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, a leading software company lists five characteristics he looks for in a prospective employee:

  • have a positive outlook
  • be well rounded and flexible
  • be a quick learner
  • be trustworthy -- will find a solution to a problem
  • be a good writer
Fried considers being a good writer most important, stating "Probably the most important thing and probably one of the surprises is you have to work with people who are good writers."

Joel Spolsky, well known programmer and author on the importance of writing to a software developer is also looking for good writers. He says "Being able to write clearly, to write English clearly is more important to developing useful software than almost anything else and that's something you're more likely to learn in the English department than in the computer science department."

The Fried and Spolsky quotes are from talks they gave. You will find links to the talks here.