I speak here {^_^}

Notes: online communication hygiene!

July 24, 2021

I started reading (actually, listening to) the book, Pragmatic Programmer in the morning, today. I have just finished the first chapter. I feel it’s a very “easy to consume” book (which is a very good thing for me). It talks about values & information that are real gem (& frequently forces to question my current beliefs & facts about programming & it’s surrounding bits & eventually help in ending up doing a gradual restrospective). I’m liking this book. 🙂

Near to the end of the chapter 1, the book laid down some points on what things to do, & what things not to do when you are communicating with people online.

Now, online here both means talking to people at work (through emails, work IMP (instant messaging platforms) or the written documentations (for software, code, tools, processes, etc.)) and the other social media, community platforms.

I’m summarising all those points here with the heading How to communicate online?

(Most of these are points that I’ve learnt before as communication guidelines, during my very early days of the DGPLUG summer training in 2018.)

  • English is just another programming language
    • Plan what you want to say
    • Refine it until it does exactly that
  • Don’t just wait for questions, ask them
  • Know what you want to say
    • It’s both what you say & the way you say it
  • Know your audience
  • Choose your moment
  • Choose a style
  • Make it look good
    • Your ideas, your story
    • keep it consistent
  • Involve your audience
  • Be a listener
    • If you want people to listen to you,listen to them first
  • Get back to people
  • Keep the code & the documentation together

Things, very specific to work Email, Social Media, & other online platforms

  • Proof read before you hit send
  • Check your spelling & check for any accidental auto-correct mis-haps
  • Keep the format simple & very clear
  • Keep quoting to a minimum
    • No one likes to receive back their own 100 lines email with just “I agree, Thank you!” texted back
  • If you are quoting other people’s email, be sure to attribute it. And quote it inline, rather than as an attachment
  • Same (as above) is when you’re quoting on social media platforms
  • Don’t flame or act like a troll unless you wanna come back & halt it later
  • If you wouldn’t say it on someone’s face, don’t say it online
  • Check your list of recipients before sending
    • It has become a cliche to criticize boss over departmental emails without realizing that the Boss is on the CC list
    • Yet another thing, don’t criticize your boss over email
  • Social media posts & emails are for forever. Try to give extra and as much as attention to these (social media & email) content as you will give to any written memos, or reports