I’ve received the best Christmas present ever this year: I’m on the Swift tutorial team at raywenderlich.com. This has been one of my biggest dreams ever since I discovered the website back in 2012 and it’s now finally happening.
I had to pass a tryout to get a spot on the team. This was the best learning experience so far – it challenged me to update, write and edit at the same time. I freaked out and panicked at first – the original tutorial was in a really bad shape, so my first thought was that I would never make it. To make things even worse, the formatting was in Markdown, not HTML. I had never worked in Markdown before so this was quite a challenge.
The first thing I did was to read the website’s editing guide – it took me a couple of hours to go through the whole thing. I didn’t remember anything when I finished reading it but I decided to have fun and just go with the flow.
I started playing with the code and realised that there were a ton of bugs to fix. I went through them step by step and updated the comments for the author along the way. It wasn’t an easy thing to do but I got the hang of it. As I was finding more and more errors, I became confident in myself that everything is going to be just fine.
After fixing the code, I began writing the tutorial from scratch because it’s easier to write something good than edit something bad. The technical edit was straightforward since I had caught all bugs while fixing the code. The language edit and writing style was a different story because I’m not an English native speaker. I ended up fixing all passive voice errors – something I hadn’t been aware of up to that point.
The bonus writing assignment was a really fun challenge and it turned out to be the simplest part of the whole experience. I took an easy approach and integrated it nicely with the rest of the tutorial – now everything was ready for formatting and proofreading.
This was one of the hardest bits since I didn’t know Markdown. So I thought of the HTML tags and replaced them with their Markdown counterparts. When I finished formatting the whole thing, I realised that Markdown was easier than HTML – never judge a book by its cover.
I proofread and sent the tutorial. I got the result after a week: a silver medal which enables me to update, write and technically edit Swift tutorials on the website.
I’ve learned a couple of things along the way:
- Don’t worry if you don’t know something – just go for it.
- Whenever in doubt about anything – rewrite it all over again from scratch.