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Writing is the most important new skill for tech workers. Here’s how to build it

As we head into 2021, work looks completely different than it did a year ago.

Most companies have remote teams, while tech giants like Twitter and Dropbox have said their employees can stay remote forever. In my role as CEO of HackerRank, which helps organizations like these hire technical employees, I have a front-row seat to what the remote work shift means for technical teams while also managing my own company’s workplace evolution. For example, we’re embracing asynchronous work, which happens across different teams, time zones, parenting schedules, and other individual needs. Work doesn’t happen at the same time for everyone anymore.

Success in remote work hinges on communication, but it’s challenging. Most of us feel Zoom fatigue, and nearly a third of the American workforce struggles to communicate about their work in a remote setting. Clear writing could be the antidote—especially for engineers.

Writing, long considered a “soft skill” for technical workers, is crucial when employees can’t talk through a problem in person or show a new team member the ropes over coffee. Good writing makes for specific, detailed communication that captures institutional knowledge. And effective writing can keep technical teams engaged and productive in remote work by helping them move faster and communicate more clearly.

To make good writing part of their teams’ DNA, leaders need to prioritize and nurture that skill. Here are a few ways to do that:

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