Welcome

I am Chris Ward (aka Chris Chinchilla). I am a Developer, Writer, and full of crazy ideas.

After 15 years as a developer I realized that my skills lie in helping others understand technical subjects. I achieve this through technical writing, blogging, networking and educating people through presentations and workshops.

This site is the home of my personal and work projects and the experiences I have working on them. If you like what you see, read more, come and see me present, or support what I do.

Why do you call yourself Chris Chinchilla? Yes it does sound silly doesn’t it! It’s a nickname I’ve had since 1997 after a passing comment at school, I’ve carried it through all my fanzine and music years and like it. For those who are interested, a Chinchilla is a small (and very cute) South American rodent, a Small Town in Queensland, Australia and is a real name in South America.

  • Blockchain, music and tech cooperatives with Resonate

    Blockchain, music and tech cooperatives with Resonate Chris talks with Peter Harris from Resonate about music streaming on the blockchain, tech cooperatives and much more.
  • Berlin-the blockchain capital of the world?

    With the UK exiting the European Union, Germany is jostling to become the new FinTech capital of the EU. Frankfurt has the history and established finance industry, but Berlin is more affordable, is larger, and has a more diverse population, looking at challenges from different perspectives. With at least six regular blockchain and cryptocurrency related meetups, founding members of Ethereum and Monax present in the city, and countless cryptocurrency related projects, analysts are beginning to call Berlin “the blockchain capital of the world.” As this year’s FinTech Safary threw the doors of organization and co-working spaces open, I met with a small selection of people involved in the scene to see how true this claim is.

  • Docker Secrets Management

    I’m sure we’ve all been there. That moment when you realize that important and sensitive access details have leaked online into a public space and potentially rendered your services to unrequited access. With the ever-growing amount of services we depend on for our development stack, the number of sensitive details to remember and track has also increased. To cope with this problem, tools have emerged in the field of “secrets management.” In this post, I am going to look at Docker Secrets, the new secrets management feature available in Docker 1.13 and higher.

  • What's Next? Google Announces New Features for its Cloud

    What's Next? Google Announces New Features for its Cloud

    Cloud Next is Google’s regular conference that covers all their cloud-related products. That’s something of a vague and overarching classification, but I squeezed into the Google office in Berlin to watch a live stream of the event and will get you all up to speed.

  • Teaching Children to Code

    Teaching Children to Code

    Two experiences in my life have shaped the way I try to talk about technology. One was over ten years ago when I taught a room full of retirees, long-term unemployed, and recent immigrants basic computer skills. I realized that I could throw many of the subjects I had studied out of the window and that the best way to teach people was to give them a reason to learn. Fast forward to last year (and a subject I wrote previously on SitePoint) when I taught programming to a group of recent Syrian refugees. Again, I had to throw away much of my own learning and preconceptions and think afresh.

  • Chris and Cate do MWC

    In this episode Chris and Cate attend Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and discuss smart city tech, security, robots, and machine learning.
  • WTD Episode 4: Continuous Integration and Docs like Code

    WTD Episode 4: Continuous Integration and Docs like Code

    In this episode, we talk about continuous integration strategies for docs (for style, screenshots, and REST calls). We also dive into discussions around docs as code, including how encourage developer collaboration, how to stay informed about code updates developers make, and more.

  • The Highlights of Mobile World Congress 2017

    The Highlights of Mobile World Congress 2017

    There is a lot to see, hear, and discover at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and its many side events. From helping the developing world, to brain imaging, and sensors on seals, these are some of my highlights.

  • Mobile World Congress 2017

    Mobile World Congress 2017

    2016 was quite a year for technology and its impact on the world. Subconsciously or not, nestled amongst the booths of generic Chinese handsets and app marketing companies were many projects and people at MWC that sought to accomplish something more meaningful. Here are some of the themes and concepts I feel will shape 2017 and 2018.

  • Preventing SQL injections in Python (and other vulnerabilities)

    Preventing SQL injections in Python (and other vulnerabilities)

    Python is a wonderful language, ideal for beginners, and easy to scale up from starter projects to complex applications for data processing and serving dynamic web pages. As you increase complexity in your applications, it can be easy to inadvertently introduce potential problems and vulnerabilities. In this article, I will highlight the easiest to miss that can cause the biggest problems, how to avoid them and tools and services that help you save time doing so.

  • Setapp aims to solve the App problem for Macs

    Setapp aims to solve the App problem for Macs

    There are currently two major issues and trends with application development. One is users finding your efforts, and the other is then making money when they do.

  • A switchers tale - My week(s) with Linux

    A switchers tale - My week(s) with Linux

    After using macOS for over 20 years I was interested to get new perspectives and try other operating systems in my daily work. In this second part, I spend a month with Linux.

  • Failure, diabetes wearables, lady problems and potatoes

    In this episode Chris and Cate discuss 2016 and look forward (maybe) to 2017.
  • The Bark, 2nd February 2017

    On being deaf, ancient programming languages, warrior monks and passport to Paris.

  • Automating Screenshots in Documentation

    Drawing my short series to a close (we’ve talked about testing code examples in documentation and automating spelling and grammar checks in documentation), let’s cover one of the hardest elements of documentation to create and keep up to date: screenshots.

  • Wtd Episode 3 - Technical writing trends for 2017

    Wtd Episode 3 - Technical writing trends for 2017 In this episode, we discuss top technical writing trends for 2017. Chris discusses how more technical writers are interacting with support groups, and even being embedded within support departments. Jared discusses how docs are being planned for earlier in development cycles, as more product managers are seeing the value of docs. Tom talks about how more technical writers are treating documentation as code, and the challenges inherent in developer tools and workflows.
  • The Bark, 24th January 2017

    Nations big and small, the wrong office plan, ageing sleepily, culture fit in tech and more.

  • Build Native Apps in the Browser with Configure.IT

    Build Native Apps in the Browser with Configure.IT

    Creating a modern and feature-rich mobile app has never been a simple task, but is now more complex than ever. There are a plethora of platforms, programming languages and strategies to consider, and knowing where to start and what path to follow involves understanding and appreciating a lot of interconnected components.

  • The Bark, 17th January 2017

    The Bark, 17th January 2017

    Zuckerberg for president, Linux/Windows convergence, the future of phones and more.

  • Java-Free Android

    Java-Free Android

    Android finds itself in interesting times. Google has begun creating it’s own ‘premium’ versions of the operating system (OS), Cyanogen have ceased development, and many feel that Android will change name or shape in the near future.

  • A switchers tale - My week with Windows

    A switchers tale - My week with Windows

    After using macOS for over 20 years I was interested to get new perspectives and try other operating systems in my daily work. In this first part, I spend a month with Windows.

  • The Daily Bark, 11th January 2017

    The Daily Bark, 11th January 2017

    Trumping the Democrats, Lego, Australian Video games, terms of use and more.

  • The Daily Bark, 6th January 2017

    The Daily Bark, 6th January 2017

    CES, Blockchain music, and, err, Chicken salt.

  • Build and program with Sam labs Curious Cars

    Build and program with Sam labs Curious Cars

    Last year at IFA I came across a small stall lurking within a gathering of startups. The booth was full of blinking small blocks, motors and switches that aimed to help children learn to code.

  • The Daily Bark, 4th January 2017

    The Daily Bark, 4th January 2017

    Welcome to 2017, CES is around the corner, but in the meantime, here are some small updates.