I currently take part in three podcasts, find more details and subscription information for each below.
The Weekly Squeak
A weekly round of articles and other items that captured my attention, often with an interview.
The Enthusiastic Amateur
A new show with two different, but connected motivations. The first is to highlight people working enthusiastically on a subject in their spare time. The second is for those of you enthusiastic about a topic yourselves, and to give you what you need to know to get started.
Write the Docs
Covering the latest in tech writing, with a guest and discussion topic every episode. Episodes are posted below, and find subscription options here.
In this episode I speak with the makers of the Tactigon wearable gesture controller, look at scandal in Oxford, DLC in D&D, decolonialising gaming, and much more.
This episode I speak with Shlomi Hod about responsible AI, look at the worst D&D monster of all, hello world in assembly, and more.
In this episode I speak with the infamous Kin Lane, the API evangelist, now working with Postman. I also cover my new experiences with the Linux desktop, how “the rise of skywalker” has visions of our dystopian future, and more!
In episode 26, we talk with Alan Bowman about the technical writing forum on Reddit as well as the WTD Slack channel, comparing and contrasting the two spaces. Topics covered include pros and cons of anonymity on the internet, transparency around sensitive or taboo topics (e.g., salary, masters programs, feelings of overwhelm), age/experience demographics for both communities, balancing honesty with professionalism, responding to posts from overwhelmed tech writers, dealing with recurring topics, strategies for participating, and more.
In this episode I speak with Laszlo Toth, Nikolai Astrup, and Dr. Suncheol Gweon from the recent 5GTechritory about the current state, and future promise of 5G. Also in this episode, the Y2K panic, incentivising BitTorrent, Monopoly, tech sexism, and so much more.
In this episode I speak with Martin Mao of Chronosphere about the massive scale monitoring platform. I also cover fixing the internet, fixing air conditioning, the problem with calculators, switching from macOS to Linux, the death of Lil Bub and more!
In this episode I speak with Raj Dutt of Grafana. I also cover the rise of the Brave browser, keep an eye on Softbank, question Apple’s design, look at the new tabletop game, Tapestry, investigate the issues with coworking, and much more!
Fresh back from Tekom’s TCWorld event, Chris covers the difference between different types of tech writers, fantasy maps, running D&D campaigns with inconsistent players, is dark mode a myth, and why do so many cultures think Greek is so complicated?
In this episode I cover the WeWork/Meetup/Softbank world domination saga, the sad state of affairs of online journalism, and has Apple had enough of Electron?
In this episode I speak with David Nalley of the Apache Software Foundation about their roles in the projects they work with. Also features how an Australian floating hotel ended up in North Korea, D&D with sign language, long distance flights, and Happy birthday UNIX.
In episode 25, we talk with Andrew Head, Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, about his research on how developers use API documentation. Specifically, we focused on a recent article he co-authored titled When Not to Comment: Questions and Tradeoffs with API Documentation for C++ Projects. During the podcast, we chat about the following: where developers look for information, how developers manage information in Google’s unique billion-line code base, when it’s appropriate to just let developers read the code directly versus creating documentation, what kind of information developers look for in API documentation, the relevance of document generators such as Doxygen, and more. Andrew also talked about some projects he’s working on to build interactive tools for developers to share code expertise.
In this episode I speak with Dr. Leemon Baird of Hedera Hashgraph about their DLT (not a Blockchain), plus the Saga of Richard Stallman continues, the history of Call of Cthulhu, and Wendys releases a RPG…
In this episode I speak with Commissioner Goldstein of the Vermont State Government about the policy of paying remote workers to relocate to the state. I also cover Docker, the tech backlash against ICE, the Boeing 737 Max, and Thomas Jefferson’s Bible.
In this episode I cover the resignation of Richard Stallman, historic installation windows, Apple and “sherlocking”, COBOL, and the future of development.
In this episode, we’re joined by the Write the Docs Australia initiator Swapnil Ogale. We talk about conference wind-downs and ramp-ups, highlights from the just-finished WTD Prague conference, speakers announced for upcoming Write the Docs Australia conference, the “Good Docs Project,” the tech writing scene in Australia, and more.
In this episode I speak with Xinshu Dong of RockX about his new blockchain-based digital assets platform. Also features stories on the impact of our cities on commuting, products for the elderly, the power of words, the history of Unix and more.
In this episode I speak with Sky Guo of Cypherium, cover data loss in the era of digital memories, fantasy islands, the history of JQuery, and when crowdfunding goes wrong.
In this episode, rather than the usual roundtable discussion, we provide a recording of a WTD Berlin presentation by Lucie Le Naour on how to write inclusive tech documentation. Inclusive documentation takes into account all users, regardless of their gender, culture, or abilities. It uses language that treats different types of people fairly and equally, acknowledging that the words you choose matter in the connotations and attitudes they convey. This presentation was recorded on August 19, 2019 in Berlin.
In this episode I speak with Davit Baghdasaryan of Krisp.ai about their small Windows, macOS and (soon) iOS application that removes background noise from online conversations. Also features news on Huawei’s new OS, the history of Ctrl+Alt+del, moderating hacker news and more.
In this episode I speak with Réda Berrehili of the Ki Foundation about their plans to put blockchain-powered assistants into hotel rooms. I also cover the Linux desktop wars are over, the Nintendo power glove, and those pesky under water cables giving us all the internet we need (most of the time).
In this Weekly Squeak I cover Quantum computing, removing brilliant jerks, the problems with Medium, the problems with office perks, arguments over Pompeii and more!
In episode 22, Giles Gaskell from Squiz in Australia joins us to talk about managing multiple doc projects across Git repositories through Antora. Giles explains how to establish processes such that updating documentation becomes part of the definition of done, how to manage build process across multiple Gitlab repositories, strategies for distributing doc work across engineers through templates, how to scale workloads when you’re the lone technical writer in the company, times when dogfooding your own product for docs makes sense and when it does not, pros and cons of Asciidoc versus Markdown, and more docs-as-code topics.
In this episode I speak with Jean Georges Perrin about his forthcoming book “Spark in Action”, where we cover Apache Spark, writing books, and why many are wrong about IBM. I also cover Twine, Open Source and Alexa and the UK’s health service.
In this episode I speak with some of the team behind the IOST Blockchain project, cover recent Zoom woes, wonder if air travel is all that’s it’s hyped to be, dig into JPEGs, and so much more!
I speak with Marco Palladino of Kong about their API gateway, microservice mesh and smart docs generation.
In this episode I speak with Ian Fogg of OpenSignal about our current 4G network, and the future 5G one. Also featured is D&D for product teams, educating on the history of the British Empire, Visual Basic, Project Catalyst, Libra, escaping the smart city and more!
In part 2 of interviews from KubeCon, I speak with the following people about developments in the world of Kubernetes:
In part 1 of interviews from KubeCon, I speak with the following people about developments in the world of Kubernetes:
I speak with Mark Marron of Microsoft about their new language that is simple, obvious, and easy to reason about for both humans and machines.
In this episode Chris speaks with Matt Billman of Netlify, creating general game playing AI, browser wars past and present, and more!
In this episode Chris speaks with Hayden Barnes about the Pengwin project, an optimised Linux for the Windows Linux Subsystem. Also features articles on Coffee Pods, Polymaths, digital newspapers and more!
In this episode Chris covers why the Essential phone isn’t as bad you might have thought, how smart speakers are changing music, new programming languages, and is D&D becoming too mainstream?
In this episode I look at advice on writing weird fiction, the future of Linux, the latest version of Opera, wether Google cloud offers an open source friendly alternative to AWS, and more!
In this episode Chris covers the trail of the robocall king, programmer’s obsession with efficiency, prisoners training AI, all you wanted to know about hyphenation, and much more.
In episode 21, Becky Todd from Atlassian joins us to talk about career growth, leadership, and mentoring. How do you move up to the next level at your company? Does upleveling require a management track, or there other ways to increase your leadership and influence? We also chat about mistakes we’ve made, what we’ve learned, ways to increase our influence and visibility both inside and outside corporate walls, why we sometimes back away from persuasion efforts, the balance between autonomy and micromanagement, mentoring strategies and opportunities, and other career-related topics within technical communication. We also look at the Season of Docs as an opportunity for getting involved in open source projects.
In this episode I cover old technologies and how to preserve them, the death of Childhood musicians and a little more.
Chris speaks with Jae Kwon of Tendermint about their Byzantine-fault tolerant state machine replication. Or blockchain, for short.
Also in this episode Chris looks at the history of the Ottoman empire, ageing coders, the psychology of Magic the Gathering and more.
In this episode Chris speaks with Alexis of Arkhn about their plans to standardise medical data. Also featured are stories on D&D, the connections between crypto and gambling, the real intentions of Facebook and more.
In this episode I speak with Brian Platz of Fluree, a database that packs Blockchain, GraphQL, change reversion and much more. I also cover my geeky squeaks for the week including cashless society, the number 3 mobile OS, mapping works of ancient history and more.
In episode 20, Matt Reiner from K15t joins us to talk about minimum standards for documentation - what techniques or standards can you put in place to help engineers and other contributors meet the minimum requirement for good tech docs? What essential sections, headings, or topics should you include in templates? And how do you help non-native speakers with grammar issues? We also discuss how tech writers can work with marketing to create honest and interesting writing. There seems to be the feeling that tech writing is dull but accurate and marketing copy is flashy and fluffy - we brainstorm ways technical writers can better align with marketing writers.
In this weekly geeky squeak I look at coworking, robot love, unhackability, CUPS, Docker, the male focussed world, article 13, and more.
In this episode Chris covers links of the week including ancient relics, and toys old and new. Also features an interview with Simon Harman, the project lead at Loki, a decentralised privacy network.
Jessica Parsons, a documentation engineer from Netlify, joins us for Episode 19 of the WTD Podcast. Jess recently conducted a Static Site Generator workshop at the Australian Write the Docs conference at Melbourne. It was really excellent, and we’ve been meaning to get Jess on the show for a while to talk shop. In this episode, Jess illuminates the world of static site generators, comparing and contrasting Hugo, Jekyll, Sphinx, Gatsby, and others. Discussions focus on considerations for choosing a static site generator, and how to manage the content they consume, from APIs to Git-tracked markdown files. Headless CMS options like API-driven Strapi and Git-wrapper Netlify CMS make an appearance.
In this short episode I look at computing history, privacy vs usability and more.
In this episode I speak with Monique Morrow about creating technology that people actually need. Also featured the death of RSS, is Bitcoin the new Oil, robots that can read instructions, did we miss alien contact, and much more…
In this first episode for 2019, Chris covers EU funding for open source, EU cyber security, accessibility, open source controversies and the apocalypse.
Interview segment with Rachel Black, Technical Evangelist for Lisk, where we discuss the company and tech evangelism in the blockchain space.
Cate and Chris speak to the infamous Ben Goertzel of SingularityNET and Hanson Robotics at Web Summit about Sophia the robot, SingularityNET, AI on the Blockchain, distributed computing, managing data state and so much more.
Cate and Chris speak with Kolton Andrus of Gremlin, about Chaos Engineering, ensuring reliability at scale and the plans the company has over the next few months.
In episode 18 of the Write the Docs podcast, we discuss the recent Write the Docs Australia 2018 conference held in Melbourne. Jared was an emcee at the event and shares his inside perspective about what made the event so successful. We dive deep into the unconference format, how to instill the Write the Docs brand into the conference experience, how super volunteers can avoid burnout, what sessions stood out, and more. Also, Chris confesses that he has attended about 40 conferences this year, and explains a few reasons why.
Live from a Lisbon hotel, Cate and Chris discuss the recent sexual harassment stories from Google and dig into the story and what aspects of tech and startup culture might have exacerbated the incidents.
Chris speaks with Anatoliy Lytovchenko of Eleks at the recent IT Arena in Ukraine about real world Blockchain use cases he worked on with his clients.
In this Write the Docs podcast episode, we chat with Mark Baker about structured writing, specifically focusing on his new book Structured Writing: Rhetoric and Process. After introducing and defining structured writing, Mark explains the four domains you can add structure: media, document, subject, and management domains. He explains the advantages of working with structure in the subject domain, and why mixing structure across subject and document domains can be inefficient. We also chat about how structured writing connects with SEO and microformats on the semantic web, the limits of structure in Markdown formats, how to implement structure in linking, and more.
Chris speaks with Emil Wagner of æternity, who aim to make blockchains more usable for developers and end users.
Cate and Chris speak with eBlocker (IoT security), Snips (Voice Assistant software and hardware) and Conrad Connect (Smart Home platform) at this years IFA in Berlin.
Chris and Cate talk about the European consumer electronics fair IFA. Expect dancing robots.
This episode focuses mainly on testing tools. Last month, some rockstar WTD community members spent a few days at the Pronovix offices in Szeged, Hungary, trying to create a series of open-source testing tools. Specifically, they wanted to create a ‘create a container deployable solution that can automatically check docs’. In more blunt terms, a kind of open-source Grammarly, but integrated into deploys and repositories and focused on tech docs. Host Chris Ward and our podcast guest Anett Pozsar from Szeged (pron. Seg-jed) Hungary also participated in the Test-the-Docs hackathon. Anett recently started in her role as a technical writer, so in this episode we also chat about what it’s like starting out as a new technical writer. Finally, we transition from testing tools and linters to templates. Structure and templates can be especially helpful for guiding engineers in writing docs.
There’s a high chance that if you have attended an event in a city in recent years, it was arranged through meetup.com. The site now has over 32 million members, over a quarter of a million meetup groups and over half a million meetups happening in 182 countries every month.
Chris speaks with Rachel Brochado about Eyeo and their products, Adblock Plus, Flattr, and the Acceptable Ads program. We also discuss the future of funding creative activities.
Chris speaks with Stefan Thomas, ex CTO of ripple about his past and new projects. Also, featured is the Malta blockchain summit, happening in November.
We speak with Donatas Malinauskas of deeper, a smart device for anglers to find the fish they are looking for.
In this episode Cate and Chris discuss more of their recent trip to Lithuania. This time about Telesoftas, an innovation house with an enigmatic leader, and their general impressions of the country and it’s startup scene.
After a short summer break, we’ve returned to the WTD podcast and taken up our mics again to talk about important doc issues. In this episode, we first chat about assumptions we have regarding our users and the value of doing user research. Basing the discussion on Jen Lambourne’s talk at WTD Portland 2018, we talk about ways to capture the user perspective and limitations/workarounds for user research within the corporate domain. Next, we chat about an article by Emily January Petersen on the Make-It-Pretty Philosophy, where the roles of tech writers are reduced to grammar and style editing only, without more substantive updates and revisions to content. Finally, we talk about Tom’s research project on healing the academic/practitioner divide and how he hopes his conversation posts will bring both sides more closely together.
Chris speaks with URBAN-X’s Managing Director Micah Kotch to speak about the startups they fund, and to Rachel Ginsberg about the Frankenstein AI project that challenges how we interact with AI, and how they interact with us.
Chris speaks with Amanda Gutterman of Consensys and Thomas Schouten of Lisk about their projects and how to market something as complex as Blockchain.
We begin our series of interviews from our recent trip to Lithuania. First a coding school for children and the trade association for ICT. Thanks to telesoftas for sponsoring the trip.
Chris speaks with the venerable Stephen Wolfram about his career, company and the future of how we process data into something meaningful.
Chris speaks with Sean Suchter of Pepperdata and Robert Reeves of Datical about the future of DevOp and deployment for Big Data applications.
In this episode Cate and Chris discuss their extensive travels, public transport, the first victims of GDPR, should we be worried about China and more.
Chris and Cate speak with Myles from Robotical about their all-singing-all-dancing Marty the robot for education.
In this episode Cate discuss ChromeOS, Robots, GDPR, Bromads, games, and is Ready Player One really not a work of fiction, but a manifesto of what’s wrong with the Tech Industry. 🤔
In this episode Chris speaks with Xinshu Dong of Zilliqa about their ideas on how to implement a high throughput blockchain output.
In this episode, Cate and Chris talk about AI and the human machine era, the end of the 8 hour work day, when crypto conferences go wrong and more…
Chris speaks with Max Newton of BrainCo about how their brain-interfacing devices help people focus better.
Chris interviews Chris Nicholson, the CEO of Open Source Deep Learning platform, Skymind.
In our latest episode, Chris reports back from SXSW and we talk about interesting articles from the week including the creation of the internet, China’s efforts at social credit, the ‘right to be forgotten’ and more.
Chris and Cate attend Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona along with side events. Whilst battling crowds, rain and snow, we interviewed stallholders and attendees as well as writing articles about the least news and tech. 5G was hot, competing standards and copy cat technology all make their presence known.
Chris speaks with Brian Gracely, director, OpenShift product strategy about the container space more generally and how the acquisition might fit into it.
We speak with Pierre Barreau, CEO of Aiva who’s AI has helped compose music for presentations, games, concerts, and even has its own album.
In this episode Cate and Chris discuss the birthday of open source, big data, transportation and how to conduct yourself at networking events.
Chris speaks with Sam Tabar, strategist at AirSwap about trading cryptocurrencies on decentralised exchanges and how we can solve the problems of VC backed startups.
Chris speaks with the three founders of replex.io who aim to help you identify inefficiencies at every level of a stack, from discrete hardware components all the way up to a holistic picture of your overall architecture.
Fresh from their Best of Innovation at CES Innovation Awards, we finally publish an interview with Nuraphone when Chris visited their office in Melbourne in December to discuss their unique headphones, and running a startup in Australia.
In this episode, we chat with Abhinav Asthana (founder and CEO of Postman) to explore how Postman, a REST client, can be used to create, collaborate, and publish API documentation. If you work with API documentation, you’ve probably used Postman to make and test API requests. But you can do also a lot more with Postman. You can embed Run in Postman buttons that contain collections of requests that users can load in their own Postman clients (perfect for getting started tutorials). You can collaborate with engineers on the requests and documentation by syncing collections across a team account. And with just a few clicks, you can also publish and host your documentation through Postman, complete with code samples in multiple programming languages. Check out Postman’s API Network to see many ways different companies use Postman in their documentation.
In this episode Cate and Chris tackle CES, a crazy show of more than 4,500 exhibitors spread over 11 official venues. It’s an exercise in stamina as you traverse the crowds trying to find the gems among the generic. There’s a lot more ‘nice to have’ than ‘need it now’ devices. But every year a few things stand out, but not always for the right reasons.
Chris speaks with Daniel G. Siegel about his talk “the bullet hole misconception” covering topics such as how developers should challenge themselves and preconceptions.
Chris and Cate recount the year that was, look forward to 2018 and discuss the recent CCC in Leipzig.
Chris hosts a panel at the recent Berlin Blockchain day with three blockchain luminaries: Dmitry Meshkov, Alexander Chepurnoy, Vlad Zamfir and Alexander Ivanov.
Chris interviews Dubai startup Wrappup about their meeting AI bot and running a startup in Dubai.
In this episode, we chat with Eric Holscher (WTD cofounder) and Mikey Ariel (WTD Europe organizer) about the Write the Docs community itself, including origins, founding ideas, goals, challenges, trends, and roadmaps for the community. We dive specifically into idea of diversity of roles (and the term ‘documentarian’), the way open source principles inform the community’s core values, balancing individual freedom to contribute on one’s own terms with the expectations of the WTD experience, and more.
Chris speaks with CircleCI CTO Rob Zuber about creating a continuous integration platform that gets out of the way of developers and just lets them work, test, build and deploy.
In this episode Cate and Chris tackle the rise of cryptocurrencies, love (past and present) in the time of artificial intelligence, the prevalence of software bugs, net neutrality from a non-American perspective, and more.
In this episode Cate and Chris tackle the rise of cryptocurrencies, love (past and present) in the time of artificial intelligence, the prevalence of software bugs, net neutrality from a non-American perspective, and more.
Chris speaks with Tanveer Saifee of Thingworx about creating interactive AR tools that help workers in modern industry understand and analyse the machinery and processes around them.
Chris speaks with Johannes Schickling of Graphcool, The GraphQL Backend Framework. The interview covers their love of GraphQL, community and how they try to help developers understand and use the API framework.
In this episode Cate and Chris tackle some difficult topics such as the backlash against tech, does the status quo even want to change, diversity, the naivety of engineers and much more.
Chris speaks with Ryan Blunden about what programmers and musicians can learn from each other, the affects of music on coding, what genres might be what programming language, computer generated music and much more.