I am a technical communicator with a love of explaining technical concepts in documentation, blog posts, videos, books and more. I run a small agency called Gregarious Mammal if you’re interested in hiring me for that kind of thing.

I am also a podcaster, video maker, writer of interactive fiction, and games. This website is a home for all my blog posts, podcasts, newsletters and creative projects.

Need advice for your documentation project? Sign up for my office hours.

The Weekly Squeak - IoT trends and the future of conferences with Cate Lawrence

In this Weekly Squeak I have my old cohost back to discuss recent trends in IoT and her visit to IFA in Berlin, will the hybrid format be the future of conferences in the medium term? I also cover Goodreads, Flutter, Swift, Kubernetes, and famous historical deaths.

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DXpose - Getting started with the Microsoft Quantum development kit

In this DXpose I look at the developer experience behind the Microsoft Quantum development kit. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/quantum/development-kit

Episode 102 - Cats in space and heavenly senators

Episode 102 - Cats in space and heavenly senators

Rebecca, Jason, and Chris try to encourage cats in space to give opinions and senators in heaven are selling meeples. Will the games we create be total nonsense, or race to the top of the hotness lists?

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The Solo Adventurer - Surviving cosmic horror with Alone against the flames

In this episode of the Solo Adventurer I play the first part of Alone against the flames by Gavin Inglis, which is a Call of Cthulhu solo scenario.

The Weekly Squeak - Scaling MySQL with PlanetScale

The Weekly Squeak - Scaling MySQL with PlanetScale

In this episode of the Weekly Squeak I speak with Jiten Vaidya and Sugu Sougoumarane of Planet Scale, a solution for scaling MySQL on Kubernetes. I also cover Mozilla, returning to the office, Canonical, and can open source be bought?

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DXpose - Scalable MySQL with Planetscale

In this DXpose I look at the developer experience behind Planet Scale, simple, scalable MySQL on Kubernetes.

Version changes to configurations for Kubernetes-ready applications

Version changes to configurations for Kubernetes-ready applications

Your Kubernetes configuration represents environments that are a fundamental part of your application, unyet we generally treat them as less important from our application code. In this post we look at best practices for managing changes to configuration, and how to treat it the way it deserves.

Creating a Cross-Platform Todo Aggregator with Flutter

Creating a Cross-Platform Todo Aggregator with Flutter

I wanted to create a cross-platform app to aggregate all my todos across various services. I turned to Flutter; was it a good idea? Read on to find out.

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DXposé - API design and REST client Insomnia

In DXpose I look at the experience behind a developer focussed tool. This week it’s the turn of Insomnia that promises to let you design, debug, and test APIs like a human, not a robot. https://insomnia.rest/

The Weekly Squeak - Infrastructure as code with Pulumi

The Weekly Squeak - Infrastructure as code with Pulumi

In this episode I speak with Christian Nunciato, author of Pulumi in Action from Manning.

Use podchinc19 for a 40% discount code, or andy of the codes below for a free eBook:

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The Solo Adventurer - Gentleman Bandit

Join me on a solo roleplaying game exploring violence, woe, and dissociation.

WTD Episode 31 - Strategies for site search, with Peter Levan

WTD Episode 31 - Strategies for site search, with Peter Levan

So many documentation websites rely on search as part of their information architecture. But what do you actually need to consider if you want to make your site search return answers for users in relevant, efficient ways? Join Peter Levan from Funnelback with regular guests Chris, Jared, and Tom for a talk all about making search work well on your site. Some of the questions discussed include: Why can’t you just let Google do the searching and indexing for you? Do you need to pay big money to get a site search tool? How do you make your docs site talk robot?

The Weekly Squeak - API-first content management with Contentful

The Weekly Squeak - API-first content management with Contentful

In this episode I speak with Paolo Negri about their API-first content platform. Also features the story of Bullfrog, history books for roleplayers, judging an open source project, and more.

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DXpose - API-first content management with Contentful

This episode I look at Contentful, The content platform for the digital-first era.

Stories about people episode 1

Stories about people episode 1

This episode has the following 4 stories:

Recommendations and Newsletters

I currently curate 4 newsletters on Ethics (mostly in technology), gaming, Language and Linguistics, see my latest recommendations and join those newsletters below.

The Weekly Squeak Newsletter

My general newsletter "The Weekly Squeak" draws content from all these sources and a couple more, sign up to that below.

Latest ethics posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

A group of workers have launched the UK’s first union branch dedicated exclusively to the tech sector to tackle issues ranging from working conditions to racial injustice and the climate crisis.
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Google‘s working on a service that would provide ethics consulting for companies building AI solutions. According to a report from Wired, the company is considering launching this ethics consultancy service by the end of the year. Reporter Tom Simonite writes:
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The problem began when the exam regulator lost sight of the ultimate goal—and pushed for standardization above all else. When the UK first set out to find an alternative to school leaving qualifications, the premise seemed perfectly reasonable.
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The AI is the largest language model ever created and can generate amazing human-like text on demand but won't bring us closer to true intelligence. “Playing with GPT-3 feels like seeing the future,” Arram Sabeti, a San Francisco–based developer and artist, tweeted last week.
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Andrew Yang wants people to get paid for the data they create on big tech platforms like Facebook and Google, and with a new project launching on Monday, he believes he can make it happen.
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Latest language posts

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A program that can automate website development. A bot that writes letters on behalf of nature. An AI-written blog that trended on Hacker News. Those are just some of the recent stories written about GPT-3, the latest contraption of artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI.
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The AI is the largest language model ever created and can generate amazing human-like text on demand but won't bring us closer to true intelligence. “Playing with GPT-3 feels like seeing the future,” Arram Sabeti, a San Francisco–based developer and artist, tweeted last week.
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An insight into the way machines make meaning. A few years ago I used an algorithm to help me write a science fiction story.
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In a nutshell, UX writing is any text that users encounter while interacting with software. Be it button names, menu items, or product categories, you’re dealing with UX copy, often referred to as microcopy.
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Last spring, artificial intelligence research institute OpenAI said it had made software so good at generating text—including fake news articles—that it was too dangerous to release.
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Latest gaming posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

It’s an eight-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto to Indianapolis. And the route, which takes me through Sarnia, Detroit, Toledo and Fort Wayne, is far from scenic. But Gen Con is the biggest boardgame convention in North America, and there’s no direct flight between the two cities.
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Tabletop RPGs provide some of the most memorable experiences you can have at the table, whether it's cheering at a clutch dice roll, gasping after a dramatic payoff or laughing at the charming antics of Tim the Goblin.
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A lifelong bookworm and a fantasy geek, Sarah Chaffee had for years admired Dungeons & Dragons from afar. “In the culture I grew up in,” she says, “it was very much like, ‘D&D is devil worship.
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I’ll give you an analogy of what Populous is in my mind. Imagine if I had a blank canvas. Some people that are true artists will take a palette of paint and mix them together and carefully handcraft each and every single brushstroke until they have some beautiful and amazing picture.
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Railroads happen when the GM negates a player’s choice in order to enforce a preconceived outcome. Note, however, that both parts of this equation are important: The choice must be negated and the reason it’s being negated is because the GM is trying to create a specific outcome.
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