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Authors Wanted

developer.* is actively seeking writers to produce articles, essays, book reviews, interviews, project retrospectives, conference reports, and other kinds of content. We are also open to new bloggers for the developer.* Blogs section of our site. Most of the information on the page you are reading now pertains to the Articles side of our site. If you are instead, or also, interested in blogging, then the information on this page might be more helpful to you.

There are two primary differences to consider between the Articles and Blogs: first, content for the Articles side of the site goes through an editing and review process to ensure a high degree of polish in the finished article, whereas with blogging the author can post at will and there is no formal editing step (though we're happy to help with editing if you need it); second, the subject matter range for the articles side is a bit more focused (see below), whereas on the blogging side a much wider variety of topics is possible, including highly technical topics. Please if you have any questions.

In the Articles section of the site, we publish articles and book reviews on a wide variety of subjects of general interest to software developers, including, but not limited to (in no particular order):

  • design
  • requirements
  • coding
  • quality
  • software development history or theory
  • process and methodology
  • configuration management
  • change management
  • human interaction
  • craft and professionalism
  • careers
  • interacting with management
  • project management
  • time management
  • documentation
  • unit testing
  • aesthetics
  • patterns
  • engineering
  • tools and techniques
  • architecture
  • performance
  • teamwork and communication
  • training and education
  • political and legal issues
  • database-oriented topics
  • cutting edge ideas and techniques

While this is a broad list that includes a wide variety of specialties and different parts of the software lifecycle, we specifically seek articles that have a slant that is of particular interest to software developers and programmers. For example, an article on project management or quality assurance would be welcome, but if the slant of the article was primarily aimed at the specialist project manager or QA engineer, we would be much less likely to publish it. We would be more likely to publish the article if it discussed an aspect of project management or quality assurance that somehow coincided with the point of view of the designer/programmer.

We generally try to avoid two kinds of articles in particular: "industry buzz" type articles and technology-specific how-to articles. There is nothing wrong with these kinds of articles, of course. These are simply not areas we choose to emphasize, as they are already covered so well in other publications and web sites.

If you have an idea for an article, interview, or essay that fits these parameters, then we would definitely like to hear from you. Please and describe your idea. Please also include information about any writing experience you have (though writing experience is not strictly necessary--see below), and a just little bit about your technical and career background. If you have an article already written, then feel free to send it for consideration.

We are also interested in publishing opinion pieces. If you would like to take a stand on an issue of particular interest to software developers, then please contact us.

In addition, we like to publish as many high quality book reviews as possible. We review a wide variety of books, but generally try to avoid technology-specific how-to books, language references, and the like. If you have a specific book you'd like to review, please let us know. We also sometimes receive books for review from publishers, and we can provide those to reviewers. Finally, the editor will generally have a list in mind of books he'd like to see reviewed, even if he does not have a copy to provide.

A note to unpublished writers: Unpublished authors are definitely welcome here. After all, even the best and most well known authors were at one time unpublished. Since we would like our authors to be experienced practitioners and researchers, we're not looking to attract professional writers who know something about software development so much as professional software developers who have something to say and a decent command of written English. We expect to work a little more closely with newer authors, and the extra effort is usually worth it. Please keep reading, and if you're not sure if you are up to it, and let us see what we can work out. We'll never know if you don't look into it.

A note about quality: we strive to publish high quality content that would be welcome in the best known print magazines. developer.* is an independent operation, and therefore we won't always be able to attract the most well known authors (not yet anyway), but we believe strongly that there is not much point in doing this if we're not going to publish writing that is clean and polished, ideas that are fresh and interesting, and topics that are compelling and relevant. In saying this, we do not wish to intimidate anyone or send the message that our standards are unreasonably high.

The real point is to let prospective authors know up front that we do seek a certain level of quality. We expect authors to polish their work, formulate their ideas carefully, give credit to other authors when it is due, and maintain a certain level of objectivity and formality in the writing (which is not to say that we want the writing to be stuffy or academic). In addition, authors should be prepared for some back-and-forth with the editor to tweak some aspects of an article. The goal is to bring out the best in every piece so that every author is proud to have his or her work published in developer.*.

A note about length: One of our explicit goals is to publish writing about software development that is longer than most of what is usually published on the web, or even in print magazines. We don't have to worry about paper or snail mail costs, and we believe our readers will read longer content if the quality is there. Shorter articles are fine too, of course. If a piece does not need to be long, we certainly don't want to force it. Articles and essays can be as short as 500 words (in unique cases) and as long as several thousand. Opinion pieces will generally hover in the 1000 word range, but longer is great too.

In particular, we prefer to publish book reviews that are longer and more in depth than your typical book review--especially the typical book review published on the web. People can read the reviews on if they want the basic scoop on whether or not the book is any good and what the chapters are about. We want our reviews to offer more analysis, to place the book in context, to compare it to similar books when appropriate, to in general have more depth. So longer book reviews are most welcome.

A note about payment: The developer.* web site started out as a non-commercial enterprise, with a primarily altruistic goal: to promote and debate the best ideas and practices in the world of software development, to bring to software developers around the world information and presentation that would normally only be found in a paid subscription print magazine or journal (some of which are pretty expensive), and to create a forum for practitioners and researchers who have something valuable to communicate. This goal remains the same, even though today we are more explicitly a commercial, for-profit enterprise. However, we are also determined to keep the feel and atmosphere of an independent, non-commercial site, with a primarily text-based design and without flashing advertisements on the web site and "special offers" sent to our readers via email.

This means that revenue growth from the web site will be slower than it might be if we were more overtly trying to "monetize" the site. What this means is that, unfortunately, we do not have a budget from which to pay authors. In the future we hope to be able to pay the authors we publish on the web site, but today we can only offer a promise of professional editing and publishing of your work. We will also do whatever we can to give you, the author, as much exposure as possible. For example, we offer an "About the Author" page for everyone published here. The content of this page is up to the discretion of the author and can include a picture, and extended bio, links and information about your projects and/or services, etc. We can also offer addresses to those who would like one.

A note about book excerpts: if you are publisher or author interested in having a book excerpt published here, please get in touch.

A note about translations: If you have experience in translating from English to another language, please . We would like to translate as much developer.* content as possible to other languages. However, we don't really have a way to verify if someone has done a good translation, so please only contact us if you have some experience translating from English and have some confidence in your abilities. If you read a translation on this site that you feel is poorly done, please let us know about that also. We appreciate it.

If you have read this far, you must be interested in writing for developer.*, so please get in touch.

The editor and publisher of developer.*, Daniel Read, can always be reached at .

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