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.
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 Peter Suma of Applied Brain Research about Nengo, a complete brain maker that allows you to develop and run models with deep learning, online learning, static weights, simple linear neurons, complex spiking neurons, and everything in-between.
Also features content covering tools for working from home, two player games, a “Hello World” for the modern era, and much more!
In this episode I speak with Nick Millward of mGage about the past present and future of mobile engagement, especially RCS. I also cover the history of the URL, teaching an AI to play D&D, how to work from home, why Discord is bad, Brave is good, and so much more.
Episode 28 is a recording of a Berlin WTD meetup focused on UX writing processes, live streamed on March 9, 2020 at the Humanitec in Berlin. The meetup featured two speakers. Natasha Sarana, UX Writer at FlixMobility, talks about her company’s attempts to include UX Writing in their research routine. She shares the main challenges they faced so far and how they deal with them. The second speaker, Roger Sheen, information architect and freelance UX Writer, talks about how the UI copy process at Wire evolved as the product matured. He covers gathering and aligning copy from source code, moving it to dedicated strings files to facilitate version control and localization, and setting up collaboration workflows with developers and external partners.
I’m taking a short break, so something from the archives this week of my ill-fated podcast from last year, “The Enthusiastic Amateur”. This interview is reproduced in entirety to get the listeners it deserved. A great interview with Sinclair Target of two-bit history about the hidden stories from computing history.
In episode 27 of the Write the Docs podcast, we’re joined by Cynthia Ng and Amy Qualls from GitLab to talk about strategies for starting up docs in organizations where there aren’t any other tech writers and where you’re first on scene setting up shop. What are your first steps as a documentarian when there isn’t anyone else, when processes, contacts, tools, and other systems aren’t documented or described anywhere? When you’re first on scene, docs might not even be your full-time job but rather a task that’s on the side of your desk and which you have to bootstrap from ground zero.
In this episode I speak with Patrick McFadin about Datastax and their plans with Apache Cassandra, ponder on the release of MIDI 2.0 after 37 years, plane security, what happened in Iowa, and more
In this episode I speak with Paul Kuijf of learned.io, look at the new Lovecraft film, burst some bubbles, learn new languages, and much more.
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.