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Running head: THE LANGUAGE OF THE IT INDUSTRY

The Language of the IT Industry


Tereza Mojzisova
Academic Writing 310
Antioch University Santa Barbara

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THE LANGUAGE OF THE IT INDUSTRY

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The Language of the IT industry


The tech industry is not just for nerds who are fluent in coding anymore; people working
within the industry need to be able to communicate and write professionally, just like my friend
Alec Missel. Alec is a young male in his twenties. After getting his MBA in Buffalo, New York
he moved across the country to start his dream life here in California. He is now working as a
Sales Development Specialist at cloud management company in Santa Barbara called
RightScale. We all know that good writing skills are critical for journalists, writers or public
relations specialist but you probably did not realize that they are an essential skill to have in the
IT (Information Technology) industry. Even IT specialists, managers, and sales development
representatives are required having great writing skills. Employees with good writing skills are
usually seen as more credible, intelligent, and responsible. Alec has recently learned how
important of a role does writing play in his job and he has decided to share his knowledge with
me. I was struggling at first when I got a job at RightScale because I never realized how much
writing will be actually involved, claims Alec. Alec informed me that one often associates the
IT industry with technical jargon and complicated ideas, however, RightScale manages to
communicate with new clients from diverse backgrounds by using a concise structure, and
friendly language in its documents. Concise structure and tailored, friendly language can be
found through Alecs work in the documents that he wrote himself and in the documents written
by his company.
RightScale is a cloud management company that enables enterprises to accelerate
delivery of applications that engage customers and drive top-line revenue while optimizing cloud
usage to reduce risk and costs. RightScale is the market leader in cloud computing managements

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and has been shaping the industry since 2007. The company is continuously transforming the
way companies deliver IT through offering a Cloud Management SaaS (Software as a Service)
platform. RightScale is in the enterprise market, meaning that, they target companies with over
10k employees. Some of their biggest customers include VW Audi, Technicolor, Pinterest, and
Angies List.
There are four different writing artifacts (written documents) that I was able to gather.
Alec sent me four different writing artifacts that I am going to analyze in this paper. First of all is
the Cloud Management Brief. This two-page document provides high-level overview of the
companys approach to the prospective customer. Second writing artifact that I received is Cloud
Workload Migration Overview. This four-page document provides a deeper-dive into one
specific subject matter the technical summary of the companys approach in the cloud
management area. Continuing on, I received an email that a RightScale sales employee would
send to a potential client. This kind of an email can be categorized in the genre of sales emails
because it establishes credentials, introduces an offer, and it invites to further communication.
Lastly, I received the companys blog post on their website written by the CEO Crandell. Most
of the RightScale's documents target big sales departments but some of them are more technical
and target software engineers and CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) from large companies.
RightScale puts great importance on adapting the content of their writing to address the
main concerns of their diverse audience. An example to show how RightScale tailors their
writing successfully toward their audience can be seen in the Cloud Management Brief. This
document provides a high-level overview of the companys approach to the prospective customer
and it is written in a professional yet friendly way. Alec explains, After I started working [at
RightScale], I learned to recognize that different readers can best understand different

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messages. By looking at the RightScale documents, it is obvious that they realize the
importance of adapting their writing to their intended audience. In the comic book created by
Losh and Alexander (2013), the authors conclude, Writing means always changing changing
to meet the needs of different audiences (p. 117). To be sure that the company communicates
clearly in writing they need to decide how they say what they say, what information to include,
and who will be reading their documents. Different readers can best understand different
messages. RightScale always analyzes its audience by gathering information about their
knowledge and by doing demographic research of the population. After considering all the
known factors, a profile of the intended audience can be created, allowing RightScale to write in
a manner that is understood by the intended audience. RightScale uses friendly approach that
focuses on any potential customers who do not have any knowledge of the technical aspects of
cloud management. In an email to a prospective customer RightScale focuses on getting to know
the person and possibly engage the customer in a conversation. Alec adds, I always try not to be
generic in my emails to the customers. I ask questions and try to get to know them to possibly
suggest the right product to them. Alec found this approach to be very valuable because it
makes him look trustworthy, intelligent, honest, and approachable.
Moreover, all of the RightScale documents are very friendly, polite, and informative by
appealing to ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos contributes to the companys credibility and pathos
uses emotion to persuade the potential customer. Logos appeals to the intellectual side of the
audience. In the article that discusses the steps toward rhetorical analysis Carroll (2010) explains,
As audiences we want to know the facts of the matter, and logos helps present these
statistics, data, and logical statements (p. 52). All of the documents from RightScale show all
three categories of persuasion in them. Ethos is reflected by the knowledgeable employees at

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RightScale that use their expertise and experience to talk to their customers. To show the
companys credibility most of the blog posts on the companys website are written by the
company CEO of RightScale instead of an inexperienced intern. RightScale employees,
including Alec, use ethos to show that they are credible sources of information that are worth
listening to. Pathos is shown by using a friendly tone throughout the companys emails and blog
posts. By using the friendly approach and by getting to know each customer, RightScale appeals
to the customers emotions. Lastly, logos is shown through logical arguments that RightScale
articulates in their documents. RightScale uses facts and logical statements to appeal to the
customers logic and to persuade the customer by reason.
Continuing on, another example of RightScales ability to adapt to their audience is when
they use professional language in some of their documents that provide a deeper-dive into one
subject matter. Companies often use jargon, especially when it comes to the IT industry. Jargon
is the terminology used by those in a particular professional or group to facilitate clear and
precise communication (Boyd, 2011, p. 89). In the four-page document called the Cloud
Workload Migration Overview, RightScale achieves a great balance of using jargon and
language that everyone can understand. An example of a great balance in this document can be
seen when RightScale uses jargon in the main text of the document while it also has small boxes
on the side or underneath the text with an explanation of that specific term. When they use jargon
in the text they usually explain it on the side of the text so it can be understood by broad
audiences. Jargon used in the document is explained to those outside of the IT community who
do not understand the meanings of the words. After examining RightScale documents it is clear
that the employees use jargon and professional language effectively and that they always strive
for clarity. RightScale realizes that using too much jargon could confuse their customers,

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therefore, it is important for them to know their audience. If RightScale does not have a specific
reason to use jargon, they avoid it. RightScale's jargon and professional language is well-placed
and serves as a voice of credibility and authenticity within the IT industry.
Furthermore, RightScale realizes the importance of a concise structure of their documents
in todays world. People in the workplace do not usually have time to read long documents
anymore, that is why it is important to be able to produce concise documents that convey your
message effectively. Nowadays, people have to be able to write brief documents that include all
the necessary information without leaving out any essential information such as the contact
information. I have learned to keep my communication with clients and colleagues simple and
straight to the point while still getting my point across. But it takes practice. Alec told me. All
of the documents from RightScale have a few elements in common - they are brief, concise,
simple while still being reliable, structured and containing all the important information. That
way the companys communication can be addresses as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To communicate clearly, RightScale uses bullet points in its documents. I have noticed
that RightScale uses bullet points in a lot of their documents such as the Cloud Workload
Migration Overview and in the Cloud Management Brief. By using bullet points, the company
achieves to draw attention to important information and to communicate information efficiently.
Alec explains, I like to use bullet points when I want to hook a reader to my writing. Bullet
points do indeed hook the reader like a fish. Most importantly bullet points improve the ability of
the reader to scan information easily, therefore they are a useful thing to use in business writing.
RightScale uses bullet points to highlight important information and to emphasize key
information within the text. Using bullet points supports the concise and simple structure of their
documents.

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Clear and concise communication is especially important for RightScale when


communicating with international customers. Intercultural communication can be difficult for
many reasons. First of all, there might be a language barrier between carriers. Also, accents and
cultural dialects might create a problem of some sort and lastly, time difference might be difficult
for arranging phone calls. Alec told me that it is sometimes difficult to arrange an online meeting
with someone from the other side of the world. However, he told me that he has never had a
problem with understanding the client. When crossing the borders business communication
might be a problem if your company documents are not clear and easy to follow. Yet, RightScale
documents use friendly language without the overuse of jargon and professional language,
therefore, it is easy for the employees to communicate with foreign clients.
Overall, RightScale uses rhetoric in order to be effective, persuasive, and motivational.
RightScales passionate emotions, rational arguments, and credibility can be seen throughout all
of the writing artifacts. Boyd (2011) suggests, Rhetoric is what allows you to write (and speak)
appropriately for a given situation, one that is determined by the expectations of your audience,
implied or acknowledged, whether you are texting, writing a love letter, or bleeding a term
paper (p. 100). Rhetoric is the way that a writer packages his or hers writing. Rhetoric is used to
convince, and influence an audience, in our case a potential customer. Rhetoric is a tool for
RightScale how to empower themselves in order to convince their customers to purchase their
services.
In summary, we all know that writing plays an important role in our lives and writing is
especially a key part of working at RightScale. RightScale connects to their audience efficiently
by customizing messages and keeping the documents clear and simple. Concise structure and
tailored language for their intended audience can be found throughout RightScales documents.

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By examining RightScales artifacts I was able to realize how complex and complicated business
writing is, especially in the IT industry. Any employee of RightScale has to be able to tailor
different documents for different audiences all the time. Their work is very diverse - sometimes
they have to communicate with their customers, other time they have to work with very technical
information, and they have to be able to make easy-to-follow promotional materials out of
technical documents. Alec and his co-workers need to be always able to find the purpose of their
writing, the audience, and the message while being able to write grammatically correct and being
able to create a concise structure. In this increasingly competitive marketplace RightScale is able
to produce and distribute writing that is appealing to their customers.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE IT INDUSTRY


References
Boyd, J. (2011). Murder! (Rhetorically Speaking). Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. Parlor
Press.
Carroll, L.B. (2010). Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps Toward Rhetorical Analysis. Writing
Spaces: Readings on Writing. Parlor Press.
Cloud Management Brief. (2014). RightScale, Inc.
Cloud Workload Migration Overview. (2015). RightScale, Inc.
Crandell, M. (2015, Oct. 02). Universal Cloud Management: Deploy Anywhere, Manage
Everywhere [Web log post]. RightScale, Inc.
Losh, E. & Alexander, A. (2013). Understanding Rhetoric. Boston, MA: Bedford/St.
Martin's.
Missel, A. (2015, November 6th). Personal Interview.

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