Home How to Write a Programming Book

How to Write a Programming Book

Victor Noagbodji has written a long post on the subject of writing books for programmers. The article is based mostly on the advice of the legendary Brian Kernighan – coiner of the term Unix, original developer of “Hello World,” co-author of The C Programming Language and so much more.

Although Noagbodji’s post is focused on writing entire book, those who write shorter works for programmers can probably stand to benefit from it as well.

Here’s my best attempt at condensing the points down even more than Noagbodji did, but I suggest you read his article anyway:

  • Write about what you care about, not what you think will sell.
  • Use examples.
  • Be concise. Noagbodji suggests 150-250 pages, but acknowledges that some good books are much longer.
  • Cut the jargon and write for someone who doesn’t know much about the topic
  • Find someone to give you constructive criticism.

Any authors – or readers – out there with more to add?

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