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I have a question about the following sentence:

Designed and built APIs using Python and MySQL to support the development of microservices.

For you who are reading this sentence for the first time, is it clear that using Python and MySQL refers to Designed and built APIs and not to support the...?

If not, how can I change the sentence so that using... refer to Development and designed?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  • It is NOT a sentence. Aug 29, 2022 at 20:57
  • 1
    It is definitely understandable in the context of a resume. And yes, that is the "standard format" for resume bullet points; they are not supposed to be a full sentence.
    – Esther
    Aug 29, 2022 at 21:51
  • @Esther would "with" instead of "using" make the statement more understandable?
    – LJG
    Aug 29, 2022 at 21:55
  • Either one would work. Technically if you wanted the "using Python and MySQL" to refer to the second half of the sentence, you would need a comma beforehand. Possibly that's why it seems clear as is.
    – Esther
    Aug 29, 2022 at 21:58
  • @Esther glad my starting sentence sounds understandable. My reasoning is that "with", unlike "using", is not a verb and therefore "with" would eliminate the possible misunderstanding. It's reasonable?
    – LJG
    Aug 29, 2022 at 22:27

2 Answers 2

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As a software developer myself, I think your phrasing is perfectly clear. While it might be technically possible for using Python and MySQL to be modifying to support the development of microservices, in the context of programming it makes more sense for it to be describing the languages used in development of the APIs.

Some possible edits which could remove any confusion:

Designed and built APIs using Python and MySQL in order to support the development of microservices.

Designed and built APIs using Python and MySQL which supported the development of microservices.

These versions remove the possibility of using Python and MySQL referring to the latter half of the sentence. The main difference between the two would be that the first implies that these APIs continue to support the ongoing development of microservices, whereas the latter implies that the microservice development is completed.

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  • From a grammatical point of view, is support the development of microservices equivalent to support microservices development (that is, without the article "the")?
    – LJG
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:31
  • 1
    They have the same meaning, but microservices would need to be singular, i.e. support microservice development
    – Evan Allan
    Aug 30, 2022 at 11:16
  • Yes you are right. On the web I also find microservices development. Is this a mistake or is it another way to write it?
    – LJG
    Aug 30, 2022 at 20:28
  • It sounds wrong to me
    – Evan Allan
    Aug 31, 2022 at 19:32
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There is a certain kind of literature that attempts to pile on the adjectives. The covers often depict a guy in a pirate costume grasping a pneumatic young woman in a frilly dress. You get things like the following.

  • He pressed his manly hands on the bodice of her torn dress.

(I toned that down just for you.)

What is wrong with this? Well, he would be expected to have only one set of hands. So if you describe them as "manly hands" it tends to produce a low-level confusion about what set of hands he used. Does he have a non-manly set of hands?

So also with the dress. Does she have a torn dress and an un-torn dress?

The problem with this writing is that it is lazy. It tries to compress the action into a single sentence. Depending on the purposes for which the writing is intended, it may in fact be popular. A certain book series involving a color mid way between black and white is the top selling book of the previous decade. And it occasionally has bodice-ripper style writing.

However, in technical writing, you probably want to avoid the possible confusion. So you want to avoid the compression.

  • Designed and developed APIs using Python and MySQL. These were intended to support the development of microservices.

This gets the following ideas across.

  • What was done.
  • What was used to do it.
  • What it was intended to be used for.
  • That it was not you who did the microservices part.

If any of these is incorrect you can tweak as required.

I appreciate that this is likely in a resume and words are restricted. Usually you want to get the main stuff in one or at most two pages. But you want it to be understood. And it is only 3 words more.

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  • Thank you for your answer. In fact, to write my statement, I took as an example various CVs found on the web of native English speakers. So I think it's common practice in writing resumes (isn't it?) to place "using" as I put it. Then I understand your point and that the statement can be written more clearly. If I used "with" instead of "using" in my opening sentence, would that eliminate possible misunderstandings?
    – LJG
    Aug 29, 2022 at 21:09

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