Most issues of SD Times contain one or more Guest Views. A Guest View is an insightful, thought-provoking opinion essay expressed by an individual, presenting a viewpoint relevant to our readers and to the industry.
Guest View essays may be submitted by any SD Times reader – software development manager, a technologist, a software architect, a researcher, a consultant, an analyst or an ISV/IHV. The opinions must be non-commercial; that is, they do not promote the products, services and technologies that your company offers.
Write a Guest View to question the importance of a new technology or standard. Present ideas for helping development teams be more productive. Tell us something we don’t know. Offer clever commentary on current events or emerging trends. Pontificate on the state of the industry. Slaughter a sacred cow.
Make a point that readers may not have considered, or that isn’t often expressed. Don’t be afraid to challenge widely held beliefs.
Readers might agree or disagree with your position. That’s good. What’s important is that readers find your arguments fresh, new, thought-provoking, well-written and relevant to their role as enterprise software development managers. If nobody is going to disagree with your point… then there’s no need to make it.
An interesting and insightful essay doesn’t state the obvious, recite a bunch of statistics or say “here’s a problem and guess what, my company sells the solution.”
A Guest View is not a how-to feature article. It’s also not an industry overview, white paper, case study, news report, backgrounder, interview, product announcement, buyers’ guide, glossary or tutorial. It’s an opinion.
If the statement you’re attempting to make in the Guest View essay isn’t fresh, thought-provoking, unusual or controversial, then your opinion about it is unlikely to be interesting.
Don’t attempt to argue both sides of an issue; your mission is to persuade, not to educate. Present your strong, well-reasoned arguments. Make us think. Convince us. Knock our socks off. If you find that you can’t make a compelling case, or don’t know what you’re trying to persuade us to believe… perhaps you don’t really have an opinion on that subject to share with our readers.
If you have an idea for a Guest View essay, please send an e-mail to David Rubinstein briefly explaining the topic for the Guest View, explaining the issue and your take on it. Also, explain how you propose to structure your discussion. Nothing fancy: Just a few sentences or a short outline will suffice.
We will write back either to encourage you to proceed, or to offer suggestions for changing your approach to more closely meet the needs of SD Times’ readers. Feel free to communicate back and forth until you feel comfortable with the proposal.
Your Guest View essay should be between 750 and 1,000 words words in length (excluding your bio). Do not submit pieces shorter than 750 words or longer than 1,000 words. Write in a conversational tone, like you were giving a talk to your peers. Passive voice or academic style should be avoided. Guest Views do not include illustrations, tables, graphics or footnotes. We do not like bulleted or numbered lists.
When the essay is complete, send it to David via e-mail. Be sure to include a publication-quality digital photograph of yourself (see the guidelines) and a brief bio describing who you are and what you do.
Once you have submitted the story, we will let you know if it’s suitable for publication. If the Guest View essay is not suitable, we will generally offer suggestions for revising it.
The editors of SD Times reserve the right to reject essays that they perceive to be overtly or subtly commercial in nature. We may also reject essays that aren’t relevant to the newspaper’s mission and audience, as well as those that we sincerely believe aren’t interesting or thought-provoking.
We reserve the right to edit Guest View submissions for length, clarity and style. This may include exorcising what we judge to be any promotional material that may have inadvertently crept into the essay.
If you have any questions, contact David Rubinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 516-490-2231.
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SD Times’ Guest View essays represent a forum for the expression of personal opinions. They are not a vehicle for promoting your company and its products.
In other words, a Guest View essay is not a public-relations or marketing opportunity for vendors in the software-development industry.
If the Guest View submission is written to espouse a market or competitive position taken by your company, as opposed to a belief held by you as an individual, the topic is undoubtedly inappropriate.
A Guest View essay doesn’t represent an opportunity to write about anything that you’re trying to sell to our readers.
You can’t use a Guest View essay to promote your business, your products, your services, your proprietary technologies, your unique architecture or methodology, your business partners and vendors, or the core technologies that constitute your line of business.
(It’s not a place to attack your competitors and their technologies, either.)
If you have questions about a Guest View topic, please contact us; we’re happy to discuss your idea with you.
SD Times works directly with Guest View writers, not with their corporate PR or marketing departments, outside PR agencies or literary agents.
We prefer not to be pitched on Guest Views by agents or PR/marketing professionals. When we receive such pitches, we will either reject the pitch outright or request that the proposed Guest View writer contact us directly.
It is our experience that letting PR/marketing professionals “edit” a Guest View article prior to submission is a bad idea. We discourage all writers from doing so.
A Guest View should be written specifically and exclusively for SD Times by the individual whose name is presented as the author. It must not have been previously published elsewhere.
If we believe that a Guest View was ghost-written, we will not publish it.