by Jon Dahl
Programming is writing. A programmer's job is to express abstract ideas in a specific language - just like the poet, the essayist, and the composer. But while writers and composers spend years improving their style, many programmers think style stops with "two-space indentation". This needs to change.
This presentation will discuss style in music, writing, and software. We'll look at such diverse sources as George Orwell, Mozart, and punk music, and will find that much of art revolves around complexity and minimalism - just like software. Finally, we'll look at specific patterns and tools for writing software that is not just effective and efficient, but stylistically beautiful.
In this age of attention deficit and time deprivation, brevity is critical to successful communication. Rules of writing succinctly are essential learning for storytellers of all persuasions: advertisers, marketers, PR practitioners and fictionistas. Learn from Shorty award winning voice of @BettyDraper how to create memorable communication in abbreviated space. Glean expertise from masters of the short form, both commercial and literary--including Hemingway, who wrote a story in a mere six words: "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn."
Great copy is critical to the effectiveness of nearly every website. Yet often, a business owner, designer, or developer, perhaps pressured by budget and time limitations, will write the copy him- or herself. This session will tell you when that's a good idea, and when it's not. For those times when it's okay to be the "accidental writer," you'll learn quick tips for crafting effective web copy. For those times when you really need to bring in a pro, you'll learn how to work with a web writer to get the best copy for your website, as quickly and cheaply as possible.
11th–15th March 2011