Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Technical Writing

Posted at — Oct 24, 2021

I wrote a piece for the Shopify Engineering blog, some time ago.

My post is live: Shard Balancing: Moving Shops Confidently with Zero-Downtime at Terabyte-scale.

Interestingly, a second-order effect of writing on this blog was feeling encouraged to try my hand at technical writing. There are differences between the writing styles and some notable similarities, too.

In both domains, writing facilitates clear-thinking. I used the technical writing experience as an opportunity to better understand Shopify’s complex sharded infrastructure. I use my blog to understand my infrastructure.

In both domains, simplicity enables understanding. My writing is best when it’s simple. Coherent sentences help deconstruct complex ideas.

In both domains, writing eases the anxious, confused mind. To materialize the complex system into sentences, I needed to mentally untangle my understanding. Daunting at first, it simplified the mental models I use to reason about our infrastructure. I cleared up many assumptions, strengthened my foundations from first principles, and made connections to reinforce my understanding. This is similar to my experiences in personal writing.

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