There’s a large population of technical writers in devrel. And a big number of these technical writers don’t necessarily come from technical backgrounds. So how do they do it? In this episode, Richard has a fascinating discussion on this topic and more with developer evangelist, Pavan Belegatti. Pavan transitioned from a marketer to a highly skilled technical writer. He’s a self-taught developer and he gives us an insight into the marriage between writing and coding.
In developing, there’s often either a developing to writing pipeline (Richard’s path) or a writing to developing pipeline (Pavan’s), and as someone who came to writing later in his career, Richard picks Pavan’s brain on the discipline of writing. How do you move from being a ten pages on Monday, one page on Tuesday kind of writer, to someone with a more consistent output? Pavan explains that a common oversight in technical writing is not knowing the product well enough. As the saying goes - in order to sell something, you have to buy it yourself first. And how can you do great technical writing without great knowledge of the subject matter?
Pavan is also a content creator and a conference speaker and organiser. All of this as he explains, is a key aspect of a career in devrel. It’s all about building trust with potential colleagues, and having a reputation you can refer back to. When it comes to all of this, consistency is key. It’s easy to feel down about low view counts, but what Pavan explains is that a small number of followers who love engaging with your content is so much more valuable than a thousand eyeballs who don’t.
With the devrel community in India growing rapidly, Richard asks about the recent advent of people leaving devrel to go back to developing. Is this just a micro-trend, or an indication of a bigger shift? According to Pavan, it comes down to knowing what industry you’re going into. He’s found what he loves to do, and he’s happy here. We couldn’t agree more!