Originally Posted by HarryT
I would still maintain, though, that the ability to write clear and easily-understood English (or whatever language it is you're writing in, of course) is an absolutely essential aspect of the job of a programmer - at least if you want to do well in the customer-facing aspects of the job that are a fundamental part of it for anyone working in a commercial environment. You're not going to be able to win work from customers unless you can present your proposed solution to them well.
While I completely agree with that, it should be pointed out that there's a difference between programmers who are writing code for a client/customer and those who are developing a product and then trying to sell it. The former have to convince their customers via written specs etc., while the latter have to do so via the finished product. While writing skills (for internal design documents etc) may help in producing that product, the customer doesn't necessarily get to see the programmer's prose so it's perhaps less relevant in that case.