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iPro Developer
748 Whalers Way
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(800) 621-1544; (970) 663-4700
editors@iprodeveloper.com

Our most valuable articles come from technical professionals who write from their own experiences. Through the resources that iPro Developer provides, these computing practitioners offer their fellow professionals field-tested techniques and practices that have helped them in their work. If you're a seasoned writer with many publication credits, great! Even if you've never written for publication before, though, your professional experience is a valuable resource; we can help you share it with our readers. This writer's kit will help you navigate the process of writing an article for iPro Developer.

Please direct your questions about our acquisitions process and send proposals and/or outlines to our friendly team at editors@iprodeveloper.com. We're waiting to hear from you!

We're Glad You Asked

If you have an idea for an article, please let us know before beginning to write it for us. An email sketching your proposal will help ensure that what you have in mind focuses on a topic we want to cover.

Your proposal should include an abstract/outline that describes the article's topic, scope, major points, and organizational plan. Please add a short bio highlighting your technical background. The information you send should include:

  1. Your name, address, phone number, and email address
  2. The working title of the article
  3. A few sentences stating the article's main focus and key supporting points, including a statement of the article's benefits to the reader
  4. A list of the examples (i.e., code and figures) you plan to use to support your ideas
  5. The date you can submit the finished article to us

The abstract/outline should be sufficiently detailed so that a technical reviewer can clearly understand what you intend to cover. For example, if one subtopic will involve a discussion of various approaches, please list those approaches.

If you have a number of potential topics in mind and want guidance on which one to pursue first, please send us an email listing your proposals with a few sentences describing each one. We'll respond to you with our suggestions.

Getting Started

One easy way to begin is to send us a brief technical tip (500 to 1,000 words) for our Reader to Reader articles. We also look for useful, well-documented programs to publish. If you've developed a utility you'd like to share but don't want to write an accompanying article, consider just submitting the code. We look for efficient algorithms with no bugs, and we require adherence to accepted standards. Your program should be submitted electronically, accompanied by a brief explanation (600 to 1,200 words) of the utility's benefits, a description of how it works, and suggestions for its operation.

If you'd rather share your opinions than your code, please consider contributing an opinion piece to the magazine or to our occasional guest viewpoint blog: iDigress. We want well-reasoned, thought-provoking pieces (400-1,200 words) about issues of interest to the IBM i developer community (programming practices, new technologies, future trends, etc.). You may submit responses to previously published opinions or write viewpoints covering new ground, but please check with us before beginning to write.

Feature-Length Attractions

Perhaps you have an idea for a feature article (no more than 3,500 words) that you're eager to tackle. iPro Developer publishes technical, how-to articles covering programming and development in the languages, frameworks, and databases that run on IBM i, plus developer career advice. Analyzing a few back issues of the magazine will help you better understand what we're looking for. Before you get started, though, contact us first to make certain we are interested in your topic.

Keys to a Successful iPro Developer Article

If you've ever coached an end user through a computer problem over the telephone, you have some idea of what it's like to write a technical article for iPro Developer. You can't sit down at the keyboard with your readers and show them what your article is trying to say. You have only the English language to convey your message. To get your point across successfully, you should take extra pains to be clear, concise, and complete in your explanation.

  1. The first step in planning your piece is to choose your audience. iPro Developer uses a mix of articles to serve its readers, who range from technical novices to experienced technical professionals (including programmers, developers, and consultants). Knowing your audience helps you decide what content to include, what level of detail to use, and what tone to select when presenting your information.
  2. Next, you need to organize the presentation of your information. A detailed outline is vital to keeping your article focused so that every section and each example clearly contributes to your article's purpose. Your piece should have a clearly defined introduction, body, and conclusion.
  3. The introduction outlines the problem and its solution. You should be certain to specify clearly the benefits of reading the article. Somewhere in the beginning of the article, promise the reader that good things are coming and orient the reader to expect those good things within a certain framework. If there are conditions under which your technique is not appropriate, let the reader know that, too.
  4. In the body of your article, you should describe in detail your solution to the problem stated in the introduction. The text should be organized in a way that is interesting yet easy to understand. For instance, a how-to article might discuss the most general information first and then present information about tasks in the sequence in which the reader must perform them. A case study might present information and tips in chronological order. Whatever sequence of presentation you choose, be sure that it is logical and fits your material. Also, remember to use active rather than passive voice.
  5. The conclusion returns to the promise made in the introduction. Now that the reader has seen and evaluated the information you've presented, he or she will be ready to grasp all its implications. This is your chance to summarize the essential points you've made. Your work may suggest important future trends, letting the reader know what these trends are and suggesting how he or she can take advantage of them. Motivate the reader to use your information in the real world.

A key point about writing for iPro Developer is to be as specific as possible throughout your text. Information processing is a business filled with abstract ideas. To communicate your thoughts effectively, you should provide plenty of accurate technical detail and illustrate your points with examples, figures, screen captures, and free-format program code—all clearly labeled and carefully referenced in the text. It's better to include too much well-organized detail rather than risk including too little.

If your article has executable code, make certain that the code works—not only under normal circumstances but also under abnormal conditions. For example, if your program expects an object name in its first parameter, make sure the program can handle object names of all types, invalid object names, and even a missing object name.

It's important to reread and revise your text. Try reading it aloud to yourself. Prune away unnecessary words; fill in any gaps. Have a fellow professional evaluate your article to let you know what's clear and what's not, where an example might emphasize a point, or where a transition is needed to clarify the article's direction. His or her suggestions can help you strengthen the article. You should also make certain you have dealt with any feedback you received from a review of your abstract, outline, or earlier draft by iPro Developer technical editors. When your article is in topnotch shape (and your code is tested and debugged), it's time for . . .

The Big Send-Off

Please email the article to editors@iprodeveloper.com as a Microsoft Word document, using as little formatting as possible. Also, please send any accompanying items or code as separate files rather than embedded in the article. Figures, screen shots, etc., should be sent as JPEGs. Code and tables should be sent as text. Please use your discretion and consider our space restrictions when determining how many accompaniments to include with your submission. Please send biographical information that we can use with your article and also attach a recent digital photo if possible. For more information, please contact the appropriate editor.

The Final Steps

We'll let you know when we receive your article. If we accept it for publication, we'll send you a standard copyright form and work order with payment information to sign and send back to us. The editing process, which begins with a technical review followed by an editorial review, takes a few weeks. Our goal in editing is to work closely with you to ensure clarity, accuracy, and a consistent editorial style. You will have a chance to see your edited piece before it is published.

Although we earmark articles for specific issues of iPro Developer, the final decision-making process is affected by the size of each particular magazine, which we often don't know until close to the publication deadline. We'll do our best to print your article in a timely manner.

Please remember that after your article is published, it's important to view it online and monitor and respond to reader comments. Today's readers expect to interact with our authors, and it's a great way to foster a reputation for yourself and build your audience. You can monitor reader comments on your articles by subscribing to the reader comment RSS feed associated with your author profile. Visit the authors listing, navigate to your name.  You will find the My Latest Comments RSS feed and My Latest Article RSS feed listed on your author profile page below your name and bio.

Remember the other rewards you'll receive, such as the thrill of seeing your words published and the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped your fellow professionals.

Case Studies for iPro Developer

Case study articles are one to two pages long (700-1,300 words). Case studies are basically stories about customers who have implemented your product. The article tells what problem the customer needed to solve and how they came to choose your product, and then discusses the installation, how the product works for them, what they use it for, how it solved their problem, etc.

In iPro Developer, we publish case studies in a Q&A style that quickly informs our audience about a particular IBM i solution and how it helped a company solve a problem. If you have a client who implemented your product and is willing to share their story, here's your chance to spread the word. Simply follow the instructions on the downloadable form.

For more detailed guidelines about writing a case study, please email editors@iprodeveloper.com.

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