We need to kill some dangerous myths (programmers can’t write; writers can’t code)

This is a rant. It’s not a well-reasoned argument with tons of supporting links because I’m just going to start writing until I’m done ranting.

The idea that programmers can’t write docs is a huge load of crap. It’s a very common view shared by technical writers, and it’s time that we killed this idea. Because it’s not true. Because we’re putting down our coworkers as a way to justify our own value. Because it’s a dangerous generalization that pits Us vs. Them, that draws artificial distinctions between “what we do” and “what they do.” It keeps us isolated by emphasizing false differences, and it kills the very idea of collaboration when collaboration is becoming more important than ever.

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