We love learning about individual developers! But it can be misleading to rely too much on anecdotal evidence. That’s why we also use data like that collected by Evans Data Corporation, SlashData, and our own surveys. However, running an idea, question or assumption by a member of the audience (MOA) can still add value. In this case, our MOAs are your audience, too — developers and other IT professionals.
While there may be as many answers as there are developers, often interesting trends, as well as hard-to-find nuances, emerge. Unsurprisingly, stories told at a human scale often appear as overarching themes or trends 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 Sam Basu
Fritz caught up with Progress Software developer advocate Sam Basu at TechBash 2019. Fritz asked Basu about what type of technical content he finds most useful when he wants to learn how to use new technology.
How Do You Like to Learn New Technology?
Part of it is just personal preference. Basu is clear — no two developers learn in exactly the same way. Basu, who suggests this might be a generational comfort zone, just likes text-based content. However, beyond an age-related preference, Basu has some practical reasons for saying text works best for him.
It’s All About the Code (Sandbox, That Is)
… Or at least, the ease of giving it a try. Basu prefers text-based articles because he likes the experience of being able to try and understand the tech, comprehend how it’s working, and then try it out. Text is great for the ease of interacting with code snippets.
Having an interactive repo experience within a technical article that also has an online code editor integrated is welcome. He loves being able to try out code from an article in the browser without having to download anything. Of course, that doesn’t scale well with all platforms, but when it works, it’s powerful.
Basu is not alone. Several developers interviewed have indicated how valuable they find having an online code editor as part of their technical content experience.
What Makes the Content Valuable?
When asked about what makes content valuable and developer-friendly to him, Basu is clear –– he gravitates toward technical content with documentation, integrations, and real-world examples. He finds it especially helpful if the technical content is put in the context of solving a problem that developers face every day.
View Sam Basu’s full interview here. Have a burning question? Feel free to submit your question and get a chance to Ask a Developer!