There are people i meet everyday who can think a sound logic for any given problem and write a clean code too but when they are asked to write a small piece on that, they are completely lost.
But, The best software engineers are great writers because their prose is as logical and elegant as their code. Both are nearly the same if you would compare, Both are ways to passing/narrating instructions. Both are expected to be simple, logical and modular.
So why is a developer is needed to write good?
Today we are writing code which may have many people working on it all the same time. There are projects with more than 500 developers on it so if you are writing a clear technical documentation, code comments or even a simple README.md.
Today we communicate with people thought the world and that too mostly on type medium. So imagine, If you have to convey a matter with 100 or so characters. You cannot write 1000 character of a question on a IRC.
Even writing about project enables great learning and keeps track of where you stand in your learning curve.
Writing answers which are composed well serves as a manual for 1000’s and Then there is always recognition for any worth contribution.
Now, How to start ?
For those who are afraid to write because they might end up writing a bad article. Thing is that it can’t hurt to write privately say evernote or your Google Drive and then publish it after revision or leave it there.
For those who don’t have the time to write regularly. Yes! We are all busy for the things that we don’t want to do. If taking out 10-20 mins from your day is really that hard then may-be it is hard to get into the practice of writing. Don’t expect you to write a grand log like Paul Graham but start with writing a small block and work on it.
For those who don’t know what to write. Most of us take some form of document while doing something even if not regularly start with posting those out. You can also take simple notes of things while figuring something out and maintain as some form WIKI for your own purpose.
To be successful in writing, you should pick one person and write just for that person. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,
Finally, The process of getting all those random thoughts into a proper article can really help you in many ways. Some of the stuffs that you work in your normal day might be interesting and useful for others. Once you get the sense of impact that it can make then it sure appears a worthy activity altogether.