It can be dangerous to rely too much on anecdotal evidence. That’s why we often rely on data like that collected by Evans Data Corporation, SlashData, and their ilk. But, sometimes it pays to run an idea, question or assumption by a member of the audience (MOA). In this case, a developer. Sure, there are as many answers as there are developers, but often interesting nuances emerge. And, not surprisingly, overarching themes told at a human scale often bear out what is learned at a population scale. That’s why we asked celebrity developer and Twitch Live Coder Jeffrey Fritz to ask fellow developers some of the questions technical content marketers most want answered.
Meet Jess Chadwick
Fritz caught up with event organizer and .NET community member and developer Jess Chadwick at TechBash 2019. Fritz asked Chadwick about what makes technical content developer-friendly.
What Makes Content Developer-Friendly?
Chadwick is looking for the Getting Started material. When he arrives at a library, he wants to skip the project history (put that somewhere else), and find out the fewest steps he can take to get going. The best option is to have that repo online so he can just try things out right away.
Video vs. Text?
Oh, the irony. While Chadwick produces tutorials as videos for lynda.com, he doesn’t actually like to watch them when he is trying to learn! It’s a personal preference. He really just likes text-based content with screenshots, so he can quickly scan an article and find the part he needs. Videos are hard to search (Control F). Even with transcripts, Chadwick prefers the ability to scroll and scan text and screenshots.
Chadwick’s personal preference for visually scannable material is supported by data. According to Evans Data Corporation, visually scannable technical content is supported by the responses from the 2019 Developer Marketing Survey and a number of Ask a Developer interviews.
How Often Do You Go Back?
Chadwick LOVES going back to GitHub, but not necessarily to a blog. Like Brosey, Chadwick finds a lot of technical content via Google search, but he doesn’t necessarily go back to a source just because he liked the article or blog post. For the how-to’s that go with the code, he really likes the content that gets you successful right away.
View Jess Chadwick’s full interview here. Have a burning question? Feel free to submit your question and get a chance to Ask a Developer!