Which Technology to Start?

Which Technology to Start?
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#1

I want to find a well-paying job, and don’t want to waste time learning technologies that are comparatively low paid.

I started doing the HTML5/CSS track, but wonder if I would be better off learning Java, JS script, etc. I have taken classes in C# and C++ in the past. I am currently a technical writer, but want to work more as a programmer writer on APIs and writing codes samples.

Is it recommended to work on the technologies in some kind of order, or can one dive in anywhere and start, say on Java Script or something?

Thank you for your help!

Goeoff


#2

If you want to do web development, then you’ll have to learn JavaScript (and also HTML and CSS).

Java is nearly identical to C#, so if you already know C# then working on a Java based project just requires learning the differences instead of learning a new language.

It sounds like you still want to be a technical writer, but just one with a better knowledge of programming? I don’t know much about technical writing as a career field, so I don’t know what types of technology stacks would hire such a position. I would assume, however that all you would need is a high-level understanding of the language and that if you can demonstrate that you’ve been able to learn a couple different languages that you can learn enough about whatever language they use to do the job. After all, this is largely true for developers who have to actually write the code.

If you are going to learn web development then it’s usually recommended to learn basic HTML/CSS first and then JavaScript. HTML is how the results of your JavaScript functionality are observed. If you are just trying to build an understanding of JavaScript though, for your role as a technical writer, you could just jump directly to JS. You have experience with C# and C++, so you know how to use a console and debugger to interact with code.


#3

If you do still want to be a technical writer, you might want to consider joining the Write the Docs (conference for technical writers) Slack community. I joined a few weeks ago, and it’s an amazing group. It’s full of really helpful, kind people, and a lot of them write docs for the kind of stuff you want to write. Here a link to join the Slack community, if you’re interested:

http://www.writethedocs.org/slack/


#4

Id start with whatever language most technical writers write stuff for. I don’t know much about technical writing, but I do know bit more about enterprise, who would seem like the main candidates for technical writers. So I’d stick with “enterprise oriented” languages like Java or C#, rather than some obscure or hip ones, like. I’d consider learning Javascript important, since its popularity seems to be growing more and more, and its becoming more enterprise embraced as the ecosystem grows.

HTML/CSS isn’t very technical since they are more or less just standards, which are written out there for developers anyways. So I’d actually throw out learning these things unless you want to be more front-end developer than technical writer. Yes its good knowledge, but I’m not sure its “relevant” knowledge, if you know what I mean.

Depending on what parties you are communicating between, I’d consider learning the domain logic for the area of development if possible. If your writing things about web development, I’d learn the stack and architecture aswell as general programming concepts so your not locked in to just explaining how the code works, since that’s kind of the programmers jobs hehe.

Finally, if you mainly cared about the $$$ I’d throw out all the programming logic and focus on databases and database design. Programming languages come and go, and can be interchanged, but something like SQL is here to stay, pays good bucks (if your good and know your stuff) and are generally required to be documented well, as part of the design processes in most businesses. But I’d consider it harder to get good at this sort of stuff, but once you are good, your pretty much set.


#5

Those are all very good points! Thank you to everyone!

I will probably continue to slog it out with HTMl/CSS to the end. It will do me good!

Thanks!

Geoff


#6

If you opted for the frontend darkside of the force you need to add js to your arsenal.