Here are 3 reasons why developers should write more. I hope you agree and share this with any programmers that want to improve their minds, code and careers--all through the simple act of writing.
Reason #1: Writing improves your mind and thought process
If you write out your thoughts, you are solidifying their existence and giving form to your ideas. This activity gives abstract thoughts form and requires that you heavily think through the idea or challenge you want to write about. Good writers can explain things using efficient and common language (or else your writing is unreadable). Plus, this entire process exercises different areas of your brain.
Reason #2: Writing improves your code and daily work
Explaining complex concepts in simple ways teaches you many skills, but first among them is how to write readable and maintainable code. Teams often do post-mortems when code breaks or bugs are shipped with a release, so why not apply the same level of reflection and analysis on your own work?
Coding is a craft and art form on it's own. It demands creativity to produce good code, but refactoring or reflecting on that pesky bug, for example, lets you attack challenges in different ways later on. Often developers have to write technical documentation, which isn't always pleasant--if this is part of your job, then writing less-strict blogs posts on technical topics that interest you will not only improve your thought process and thus your code, but can take some of the sting out of documentation writing.
Reason #3: Writing improves your network, profile & career opportunities
What do the most well-known and visible engineers in the Java industry all have in common? They write. A lot. And what they write turns into books that developers download or buy, presentations developers peruse and talks that developers listen to. Why do you think they do this in their extra hours?
Writing and publishing helps your career by increasing your visibility, and giving people an opportunity to learn a lot about your level of expertise before you even meet. This is when strangers come out of the blue and ask you for help by consulting for them, or offer you full-time positions and approach you with the next JRebel-like idea for a start-up company. This is where the real challenge begins!
The main message here is this: Writing about technical topics will improve several aspects of your career and professional life. Start slow--writing 140-character tweets, or making 1-paragraph journal entries a few times a week is the way to go.
I'm here to help fledgly writers get started, and I've got more to say on this in the original post on RebelLabs: http://zeroturnaround.com/rebellabs/become-a-better-developer-3-ways-writing-will-expand-your-mind-improve-your-code-and-grow-your-career/